Bao Bao at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on August 16, 2014.
Bao Bao at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on August 10, 2014.
© Craig Salvas.
The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, lit. “black and white cat-foot”) is a bear native to south central China. It is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. The animal lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. As a result of farming, deforestation and other development, the bear has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. The giant panda is a conservation reliant endangered species.
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