Male pandas can weigh as much as 250 pounds, while female pandas typically weigh less than 220 pounds. Adult pandas, when on all fours, stand at about 2 to 3 feet tall at the shoulder and can be as much as 6 feet long.
As of 2014, conservationists, biologists and the Chinese government are working together to protect and increase the panda's natural habitats. Scientists are also researching panda mating behavior in an attempt to understand it more fully and find ways to make mating easier for the pandas.
Giant pandas have a large black-and-white body with a white face and torso and black eye patches, ears, muzzle, legs and shoulders. Some scientists believe their coloration provides camouflage in their natural habitat.
The giant panda is native to the high-mountain bamboo forests of western China. As of 2014, the wild panda population is limited to the Quinling and the Minshan mountain ranges, according to WWF Global. While their habitat was once much more widespread, including much of southern and eastern China,
In the wild, giant pandas have an average life expectancy of 14 to 20 years. Pandas in captivity live substantially longer, with Chinese scientists reporting zoo pandas as old as 35.
Although they are considered to be carnivores, giant pandas mainly eat bamboo plants. They also sometimes eat rodents, green corn, honey, grasses, flowers and vines.
A giant panda's running speed depends on its age and the terrain; while no specific speed is recorded, it runs slower in the wild than a jogging human does on flat, open ground. In a dense bamboo forest, however, a human is considerably slower than the panda.
The giant panda uses its four strong, stocky limbs to move between the many sources of bamboo, which they need to maintain their weight and health. Pandas live in mountainous country and are adept at climbing and covering large distances as they patrol their territories, search out new food sources
Giant pandas protect themselves during confrontations by using their physical strength and biting ability. They possess large molars and strong jaw muscles that can produce a severe bite if provoked. Giant pandas also protect themselves by climbing high in trees if they sense a predator in the vicin
There are approximately 1,000 to 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild. Close to 300 pandas live in zoos or centers where breeding is encouraged with the intention of returning more pandas to their natural habitat. Most of these centers are in the mountainous regions of Southwest China.