Top 8 Surprising Things You Didn't Know about Baby Pandas
Giant Pandas

Top 8 Surprising Things You Didn't Know about Baby Pandas

By Candice SongUpdated Mar. 18, 2021
Baby Panda

Giant pandas are some of the most adorable animals in the world, not to mention baby pandas.

Below are 8 interesting facts about baby pandas, some of which you definitely won't have heard before.

Check out these facts and learn a thing or two about one of the world's most magical creatures.

Chengdu Accessibility & Restrictions for Visitors

Chengdu is conditionally open and can be visited by foreign travelers. If you want to plan a trip to Chengdu and see cute pandas, you can see our popular Chengdu tours for inspiration. Alternatively, you can contact us.

What you will need to visit:

  • Green health code
  • Passport
  • Mask
  • A nucleic acid test report

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1. When are baby pandas born?

July to September is the period during which mother pandas give birth.

March to May is the "falling in love" period for pandas. A baby panda stays in its mother's uterus for just 3 to 5 months.

If you visit Chengdu Panda Base between late August and December, you will have a greater chance of seeing tiny newborns and cuddly babies.

2. What is a newborn panda's size?

Baby PandaA baby panda

All pandas are born very small. The average weight is 100g (0.2 pound), which is only 1/900 of their mother's weight (compared to about 1/20 for humans).

The lightest one on record was only 36g (0.1 pound) and the heaviest one was 210g (0.5 pound).

Why are baby pandas so tiny?

According to experts, "the tiny birth size is definitely a result of evolution over millions of years. It is a kind of breeding strategy.

The strategy is due to the fact that pandas subsist almost entirely on bamboo, which has a very low nutritional value".

3. What color is a newborn panda?

Baby Panda Baby pandas

Newborn giant pandas are pink and furless. The iconic black and white coloring come later, after about 3 weeks.

4. How long is a panda pregnant for?

The mating season is in spring between March and May. Males and females usually associate for no more than 2 to 4 days. Pregnancy lasts from 95 to 160 days.

5. What happens when a panda has twins?

In the wild, panda mothers usually choose the strong cub to raise and leave the other one to perish. The reason for this is that they don't have sufficient milk or energy to care for two cubs.

In a panda breeding center, the staff will rotate the two babies between their mother and the incubator every few hours.

5-day Chengdu Hailuogou tour

6. Where can I see baby pandas? Can I hold a baby panda?

Baby Panda

The best place to see baby pandas is Chengdu Panda Base, which is very close to the downtown area.

If you would like to hold a baby panda, you can join our Baby Panda Volunteer Program at Wolong Panda Center.

During the program, you will have barrier-free contact with the cute pandas and experience feeding them.

See more information about where and how to hold a panda.

7. Why are the survival rates of infant pandas low?

Here are some reasons:

(1) Cubs are very needy and vulnerable at birth. They are born furless and blind. The limbs of newborn pandas are so weak that they are not able to stand at all.

Baby Panda

For 2 months after birth, baby pandas rely on the mother's warmth, milk, and protection.

(2) The infants can be accidentally crushed by their mothers.

(3) They don't have the right habitat.

(4) In the wild, half of all pandas give birth to twins; however, it is very rare for both cubs to survive as panda mothers are only able to raise one at a time and abandon the second twin.

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8. How baby pandas grow up?

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 survive nowadays, compared to no more than 30% in the 1960s. Read on to see how baby pandas grow up.

Giant Panda growing process

Cute baby pandas 3-month-old baby pandas

After 1 Week - Blackish Hairs Start to Grow

Some blackish hairs start to grow on their ears, around their eyes and shoulders.

After 25 Days - Black and White Look

Black hairs grow all over the 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 its distinctive black and white look. A month-old panda is around 2 kilograms (4 lb).

After 3 Months - Starting to Walk

Their limbs become stronger. They can walk as far as a meter (3 feet), but staggering, and sometimes falling over. They weigh about 5–6 kilograms (11–13 lb) by this time.

Baby PandaA lovely 1-year-old baby panda

After 4 Months - Starting to Run

The pandas start to run a few steps, and love rolling about on the ground.

After 6 Months - Beginning to Eat Bamboo

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.

At One Year Old - Weaned but Continuing to Live with Mom

Panda cubs are weaned by the time they are one year old, and continue to live with their mothers for about half a year, until the mother panda is pregnant.

If she doesn't conceive, the mother panda will live her cub for two years, and leave the cub to fend for itself. At one year cubs are up to 40 kg.

Continue to read about the giant panda's life cycle from birth to death

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