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Giant Pandas, most commonly referred to as simply Pandas, are part of the bear family and native to Southern Central China. Pollution and deforestation is damaging their habitat but they are endangered also by their unusual diet which consists mainly of bamboo. The lack of nutrition in a panda's diet means that their energy levels are very low and so they cannot do much and spend the majority of their time eating bamboo or sleeping. They have even developed a thumb to help them hold bamboo! In captivity fed a more nutritious diet pandas can live an average of 30 years rather than 20 in the wild and the oldest recorded in captivity is 38 year old Ming Ming. Their fur and colouring is thought to help them survive in the snowy mountains of China though they spend a lot of time in woodland too and live mainly solitarily (on their own) combining with other pandas very briefly in mating season. Pandas do not produce as many cubs as most animals and in the wild they are dying out but experts are trying to encourage them to eat more nutritously and therefore have more energy to be able to survive for longer and do more to strengthen their bodies. They are often considered docile though multiple panda attacks on humans have been recorded but they have been overwhelmningly put down to human irritation rather than panda agression. Native to China and North Vietnam pandas are scarce (rare) in the world and are often considered a national emblem of China though it is officially the dragon.

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