Giant pandas are irresistibly cute and clumsy that people all around the globe love them. If there were a competition for cuteness, I am sure that a panda would never come second.
Well, most people would know a couple of things or more about a giant panda but very rarely do they know about baby pandas! Wondering what’s so special about the? Well, there are quite a few interesting facts about baby pandas that you probably never knew.
In this article, we have compiled a list of cute baby panda videos, photos and facts that you ought to know. We have also answered some of the most commonly asked questions about baby pandas.
4 Adorable Baby Panda Videos
Baby pandas are born amazingly small
For an animal that’s called a giant panda owing to its size, they give birth to a baby that’s so small compared to their size. A baby panda at the time of its birth weighs only around 100 grams at birth, which is extremely small for a species that weighs around 100kg.
Yeah, a panda’s offspring weighs only 1/10th of its weight. This drastic difference in size has in fact intrigued the biologists for ages until recently a wildlife biologist, Dr. Wang found out the reason for this bizarre phenomenon.
After years of research, Dr. Wang found out that the reason for this bizarre phenomenon is their diet.
You might already know that bamboos constitute the major portion of a panda’s diet in the wild. What makes it rather interesting is the fact that pandas can’t really digest the bamboos.
It means that they can’t absorb much nutrition from the bamboo shoots that they eat. Which explains why pandas spend most of their time eating bamboos.
Owing to these reasons, it is easier for the pandas to convert the nutrition they receive from bamboos to milk rather than converting them into flesh. To put it in simpler terms, it is easier for the panda to give birth to a baby that’s small when compared to its size and then feed them enough.
The lightest panda to be born weighing only 36g and the heaviest one weighed 210g!
Baby pandas are born pink
The image that conjures up in our head when we first hear about a panda is their iconic black and white fur. But did you know that they are born pink and their iconic white and black color comes later only after about 3 weeks?
Within one week after birth, black patches start to appear on their skin, and in the second-week black hair begins to grow on these black patches around their eyes, ear, and back.
Panda babies are born blind and are virtually helpless. Their limbs are so week that they cannot stand on them until they are 3 weeks old. By the end of 3 weeks, they get their iconic black and white color and will have black fur around its eyes.
A baby panda is born virtually helpless
As said in the earlier sections, a baby panda weighs only around 100grams at birth. Apart from this, they are also born blind, deaf and with weak limbs.
These babies cannot even crawl at the time of their birth. You wouldn’t recognize a baby panda until it is at least a month old because only by the end of the first month shall they have their iconic black and white color. A one-month-old panda normally weighs around 1kg but they still are helpless.
It takes almost 3 months for their limbs to become strong enough to support their weight. And it is when they take their first step which is indeed a rewarding sight to watch.
Baby pandas are known for being clumsy because a baby that’s 3 months can hardly walk a meter before they fall over. Basically, they walk a meter then fall over and then they crawl.
These babies will weigh around 5-6kg by then. By the end of 4 months, their limbs would become strong enough for them to run. A baby panda running around is hilarious to witness.
They look like little drunk people struggling to plant their feet on the ground! And yeah, it is by the end of 4th-month pandas start rolling!
A baby panda is called a cub
The offspring of a giant panda is called a cub. Pandas generally give birth to only one cub in a year. Pandas have a gestation period of anywhere between 100 t0 160 days.
A panda cub has a very low survival rate
You might already know that pandas were declared a critically endangered species in the 1990s owing to excessive poaching and destruction of their natural habitat. That’s when the Chinese government started their panda conservation park and it was not an easy task to nurture the pandas in captivity.
It is rather interesting to note that the mortality rate of panda cubs under human care is only around 25%.
Panda cubs are born with an incomplete post-natal development and owing to which they have a weak immune system that greatly affects their survival rate in the wild.
This is a concern in captivity too which is why each panda conservatory has a dedicated team of professional panda breeders and vets to constantly monitor a panda cub.
Another important reason for the low survival rate is because these cubs cannot move around at the time of their birth. Pandas being the dumbest of all animals seems to forget that their cub is sleeping right next to them. Most of the time panda moms sit on the cubs and crush them.
This is why in captivity, these babies are artificially nurtured under expert supervision and care. They are given to their mothers at frequent intervals of time for feeding and bonding. The rest of the time they remain under the supervision of panda breeders.
Only one among the panda twins survive in the wild
Pandas generally give birth to only one cub in a year but very rarely do they give birth to twins. In such an event the panda mom generally chooses the healthy cub among the two and lets the other one perish.
The reason being their diet. As said earlier, bamboos constitute the major portion of a panda’s diet and bamboo doesn’t have much nutritional value.
What makes it even difficult is the fact that panda can’t properly digest the bamboo shoots they eat. This explains why a panda eats for almost 1 hour a day.
As such a panda always runs low on nutrition and energy to run its 100kg body, it is difficult for a panda to produce milk for 2 babies.
Which is why they choosing the cub that has a better chance of survival. In most cases one among the twins would be weaker than the other owing to the same reason as we had mentioned earlier; their diet!
This doesn’t case with the twins that are born in a panda conservatory. In a conservatory, the new-born cubs are taken away by the vets and they do a thorough medical examination.
These babies remain in an incubator and are given to their mothers for feeding frequently. In the case of twins, the weaker one is made to get more attention from their mother giving them a better chance of survival.
It isn’t easy to take care of a baby panda owing to its weak immune system!
What do we call a baby panda?
A baby panda is called a cub.
Can you have a baby panda as a pet?
No, you cannot have a baby panda as a pet. Yeah, who wouldn’t want to have such a sinfully cute and cuddly panda bear as a pet, right? Well, there is no way none of us is going to get hands-on one because all the pandas in the world are the property of the Chinese government.
You can check out cute and funny panda names that contain a collection of adorable names for baby pandas.
The pandas that you see in zoos outside China are given to them on a lease that too for a staggering 2 million USD, well that’s apart from the money they need to invest on their food, shelter and other needs. Pandas are expensive! 😉
Let us keep aside the fact that they are damn expensive, but do you have an idea of how much bamboo they would need? On average, a panda eats for 10-12 hours a day and that’s a lot of bamboos. To give you an idea, the Edinburg Zoo spends almost around $80,000 per year on bamboos.
Contrary to their cute looks pandas are bears and are solitary creatures hence they don’t like being hugged or being petted. They don’t even like being around other pandas. In fact, in the wild the only times’ pandas come together is to mate and that’s pretty much everything.
It is in fact, interesting to note that the panda nannies in the conservatories in china try to minimize their interactions with the pandas. Sometimes these breeders can be seen wearing a panda costume when they go near the pandas.
Are baby pandas dangerous?
No, baby pandas are not dangerous. These cute little bears can’t even walk properly until they are 4 months old. Well even if they wanted to attack humans, they can’t.
An important thing to be noted about pandas is that they have a spatial memory than visual memory. Though pandas, in general, are considered to be docile they can be aggressive at times. In most cases, their aggression comes out of irritation.
How are panda babies born?
An important thing to be noted about female pandas is that they only have a single estrous cycle in a year. This means that she’s fertile for 24-36 hours in a year and this happens in the spring.
In the wild, a female panda will mate with multiple male pandas during the entire spring season. Owing to these reasons, the chances of pandas becoming pregnant is less.
This isn’t the case with pandas in captivity. In the panda conservatories, the ovulation period of a panda is constantly monitored and in most cases, the breeders resort to artificial insemination.
Most pandas in the conservatory do not have a clue on how to mate and every attempt they make ends up being futile.
Owing to these reasons, most panda conservatories make the pandas do a “Sexercise” basically teaching the pandas how things have to be done! No wonder, why pandas are the dumbest among the animals.
Do pandas kill their babies?
Yeah, sometimes pandas kill their babies. This basically happens in 2 ways.
Pandas are dumb and they suck at being a good mother. Most panda moms don’t have a clue on where their babies are and sometimes these giant mothers can accidentally sit on the babies.
That is a 100kg weight on a baby weighing 100grams. It is for this reason why the breeders in the panda conservatory do not let the babies alone with their mothers.
Similarly, when a panda gives birth to twins, the mother will choose the healthier one from the two and let the other one perish. They do this because they cannot take care of two babies because of their low nutritious diet.
How long does a panda carry a baby?
Panda babies are completely dependent on their mother for the first 3 months after birth and they survive only on their mother’s milk. These cubs start eating bamboo only after the first 3 months and they would still need their mothers to help.
In the wild, the cubs stay with their mother until she is pregnant or gives birth to another cub. Either way, the cub leaves the mother when they are 2 years old.