It’s not like there are tons of pandas out there: latest reports say that there are only around one or two thousand pandas alive today. But the brown panda is an extremely rare beast.
Some photos of a white-brown panda a short while ago caused a stir among citizens. They were amazed that the rare and cute animal, which generally has a black-and-white coat, has a “colorful” variety.
The white and brown panda named Qi Zai is living in Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue, Breeding and Research Center, situated in the Qinling Mountains in Zhouzhi County in Shaanxi region.
The panda was found on Nov 1, 2009 in Shaanxi Foping National Nature Reserve, in Foping County. With a total area of 350 sq km in deep hills, the reserve is home for many vulnerable animal species such as giant panda, golden monkey and takin.
At noon on that eventful day, Liang Qihui, senior engineer of the reserve and his co-workers found the panda pup just after its mother went into the jungle. The little animal, with clumps of brown fur, was hardly 2 months old and weighed about 2 kg, Liang recalls.
To much better protect the rare panda type, the baby panda was sent to the middle from the reserve.
In accordance to Jin Xuelin, deputy director of the center, the baby panda was weak when it was sent to the center, and restored later after getting proper medical treatment and taking some panda milk saved by the center staff from other pandas.
The center was founded in 1996 focusing on the rescue, breeding and research of rare animals including giant panda, golden monkey and crested ibis, which are mainly found in the Qinling Mountains.
The size, weight and habits of Qi Zai are similar to other pandas, but it is the only captive white-brown panda in the world, Jin says.
Jin stresses the center would not take such a panda for research if it didn’t need to be rescued.
“The lifestyle of brown-fur panda is normal and plausible, excessive interference by our humans will disrupt its normal reproduction,” Jin says.
This was not the first time such colorful pandas have been found. The panda research records show that such white-brown pandas have been documented five times.