Ailuropoda melanoleuca

AILUROPODA MELANOLEUCA

Giant Panda

Introducing Giant Panda

Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK's only giant pandas. We have a female called Tian Tian who was born on 24 August 2003 and her name translates to 'Sweetie' in Chinese. The male is called Yang Guang, he was born 10 days earlier on 14 August 2003 and his name means 'sunshine'.

They are here on a 10 year loan from China

Breeding Programme Category:

The giant pandas are managed by the International Stud Book

Location in the Zoo:

Our pandas can be found in the giant panda exhibit near the Monkey House and Penguins Rock

Find out more

Status

  • DD
    DATA DEFICIENT
  • lc
    LEAST CONCERN
  • nt
    NEAR THREATENED
  • VU
    VULNERABLE
  • EN
    ENDANGERED
  • CR
    CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
  • EW
    EXTINCT IN THE WILD
for more information on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Size

animal Relative to 6ft (2m) man

Population

1,000
to2,000
Population is decreasing, IUCN June 2008

Habitat

  • Mountains

  • Woodland

Diet

image-placeholder Herbivore

In The Wild

Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) live in the mountain forests of the central Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu.
Ninety-nine per cent of a Giant panda’s diet consists of different types of bamboo. Pandas will also eat eggs, meat, grasses and vegetables if these are available. Adult Giant Pandas are largely solitary but they do communicate through calls and scent marking and do occasionally meet outside of the mating season.

Female pandas are only able to conceive for two to three days in the spring. This short mating season makes successful reproduction difficult. After a gestation period of five months the female panda will give birth to one or two cubs.

During the first few months of their lives panda cubs are entirely dependent of their mums for survival. They are born blind, hairless and unable to move. Cubs are also tiny, roughly the size of a stick of butter when born. An adult panda is roughly 900 times bigger than a new-born cub.

After six to eight weeks the cubs will open their eyes for the first time and after three months they are able to move around independently. Although cubs will feed on their mother’s milk until they are around one year of age they start eating bamboo at around six months.

Once cubs reach around one and a half to two years of age they will leave their mothers and begin an independent life.

Giant pandas are the rarest members of the bear family and one of the most endangered species in the world mainly due to habitat destruction.