While a baby Panda's 100th day is always cause for great celebration in China , this pair is extra special. They are the first Panda babies born in captivity after a devastating earthquake in South West China, destroyed most of the Wolong Natural Reserve, China's biggest natural sanctuary for Giant Pandas.
Thirty giant Pandas had to be moved from the sanctuary to the Bifengxia base of the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in the Sichuan Province. Scientists worried that this dislocation, would cause them some anguish, which would impede them from having babies. However, 100 day old Ping Ping and An An are in great health, displaying all the signs of playful toddlers, including playing Peek-A- Boo!
Thirteen other Panda babies have also been born at this center since July and so far they all seem to be doing well. Giant Panda bears are one of the most highly endangered species of bears. Found only in China, they used to live on the lower-lying areas in the wilderness. However, farming, de-forestation and urban development, have all resulted in pushing them out and they can now only be found on a few mountains.
It is estimated that there are currently only about 1,800 Giant Pandas left in the world, of which 1,500 are in the wild and 239 in captivity in China, and another 27 more worldwide. The Giant Panda's mostly feed on bamboo, though they may eat other foods like honey, bananas, oranges, yams and even fish, if available. In the wild, these adorable creatures live up to about 15 years, but in captivity they can live as long as 20 years.
While the Chinese Government is certainly trying to raise their numbers in captivity, the numbers in the wild can improve only if some of their natural habitat, which is currently being destroyed at alarming rates, is restored. We certainly hope that this happens sooner than later.