Giant Pandas - one of the most beloved mammals in all the world!
Giant pandas, or Da xiong mao, the Chinese name for the giant panda, means "great bear cat". The Chinese first thought that pandas were related to the cat family, and that is why they gave pandas the name “great bear cat". Pandas were first discovered by Westerners in March of 1869 by a French missionary, Armand David. David was so taken by the marvelous creature that he decided to take a panda back to France with him. Unfortunately, due to the long journey and different climates endured during the trip, the panda ended up dying. The panda skin stills resides in a museum in France today.
Giant pandas are one of the most beloved animals all around the world. People absolutely love pandas because their colors are so remarkable, and they have the most adorable face. Westerners once thought that pandas were related to the raccoon because they look similar due to the same black color around their eyes. But panda bears are a part of the bear family even though they are not meat eaters, and primarily eat bamboo*1. They do not hibernate like other bears do because they are vegetarians, and bamboo does not fill them with enough protein to sustain them through hibernation.
Panda bears have become an endangered species due in a large part to human beings. Poachers have been taking the animals to sell to other countries for a high dollar, but the main reason comes from the large population of China. Development, forestry, and farming have forced the pandas to live in just a few mountain ranges in central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. At one point in time pandas lived all over the southern and eastern parts of China, Vietnam, and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Presently, researchers estimate there are only about 2000 giant pandas living in the wild, and another 300 living in captivity.
* = Citations - Click Below