Baby Pandas - Their Growing Process
- Name: The Chinese call it the ‘big bear-cat’ (大熊猫 da xiongmao /dah-sshyong-maow/).
- Size: 75 centimeters (2.5 foot) tall and 1.5 meters (5 foot) long
- Weight: Up to 150 kg (330 lb)
- Habitat: Central- Western and Southwest China.Mainly Sichuan. A few in Shaanxi and Gansu. See the map »
- Diet: 99% bamboo. 13 kg (30 lb) or more a day.
- Life Span: Up to 30 years in captivity, but usually only 15 to 20 years in the wild
- Protection Status: Endangered. Estimates of giant panda numbers in the wild vary between 1,500 and 3,000.
- Giant Panda Facts »
A baby panda’s growing process is interesting but very difficult, because they are extremely fragile and can easily get sick and die. At breeding centers, 90% of baby pandas can survive nowadays, compared to no more than 30% in the 1960s.
July to September is the period when mother pandas give birth to their babies. The babies will have stayed in their mothers’ uterus for 3 to 6 months. All pandas are born premature.
When the babies are born, they are tiny, blind and pink, with few hairs. The average weight is 100g (0.2 pounds), taking up only 1/900 of their mother’s weight. The lightest one on record was only 36g (0.1 pounds), and the heaviest one 210g (0.5 pounds).
The limbs of newborn babies are so weak that they are not able to stand at all. For 2 months after birth, baby pandas basically only feed on milk, sleep and poo.
After 7 Days
Some blackish hairs start to grow on their ears, around their eyes and shoulders.
After 25 days
Black hairs grow all over their neck and chest, and they have bigger dark circles around their eyes. At the same time, white hairs also begin to grow, which give the panda a distinctive black and white look.
After 3 Months
Their limbs become stronger. They can walk as far as 1 meter (3.3 ft) but staggering, and sometimes even fall over. They weigh about 5–6 kilograms (11–13 lb) by this time.
After 4 Months
The pandas start to run a few steps, and love rolling about on the ground.
After 6 Months
They begin to eat bamboo. It’s about spring time and their growing process gets faster after 6 months. Male pandas generally develop faster than female pandas.
Becoming Adult Pandas
Giant panda cubs leave their mother at about 2 years old. Wild giant pandas reach sexual maturity at about the age of 7, while captive giant pandas are 2–3 years earlier than wild ones. An adult panda weighs 80–150 kilograms (176–331 lb).
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