My favorite panda in the entire world turned five today. He was born on September 14, 2007, in China. Happy birthday Kai Kai!!!
In 2008 when he was one-year old, Kai Kai had a rather very eventful year. He appeared in the film, Trail of the Panda, as one of the 10 cubs in the title role. He also survived the Sichuan earthquake that year.
At five, Kai Kai has moved to Singapore, where he will be a resident for 10 years, together with his “girlfriend” Jia Jia. It is hoped that they will produce cubs within that period. So my favorite boy has to work so hard considering that female pandas are fertile only two to three days a year.
Pandas are among the endangered species and live solitary lives. It is estimated that there is only 1,600 in the wild now. China has been using panda diplomacy to loan these adorable animals and breed them.
Some facts about pandas:
– their small population is attributed to loss of their natural habitat and low birth rate;
– after copulation, the male panda leaves the female to raise the cubs on her own, so it can be said that pandas with cubs are all single moms;
– all pandas are born premature and blind;
– they have five fingers and a thumb, which is actually a modified sesamoid bone that helps them to hold bamboo while eating;
– the cubs are able to eat bamboos only after six months but only in small quantities;
– mother pandas play with their cubs by rolling and wrestling with them;
– the cubs live with their mothers until they are 18 months to two years;
– they are still wild animals and may attack people, not out of predation, but irritation. So don’t annoy pandas;
– they are classified as carnivorous animals but their diet is herbivorous, mainly bamboos that do not really give them nutrition; that’s why those pandas in captivity are also given supplements like fruits (most of them love apples and carrots), and panda cakes (mashed fruits with vitamins for humans);
– they eat 9 to 14 kilograms of bamboo a day;
– the physical appearance of the panda is a result of their diet: puffy at the bottom because of their mainly sedentary lives and metabolism; and a round face because of strong jaw muscles that allow them to chew fiber like bamboos;
– that said of their metabolism, they can defecate up to 40 times a day due to their diet;
– they don’t roar like bears but bark like dogs.
– they are hunted for their soft fur and skin.
Let’s save the pandas!
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