Caretaker For The World’s Only ‘Brown Panda’ Reveals Interesting Details About The Bear’s Life

Giant panda Qizai was abandoned by his mother and bullied by his playmates.  He’s had a very rough childhood. The adorable bear, now seven years old, has grown up to be a super star in the animal world.

Qizai lives in the Foping Panda Valley in Shaanxi province.  He is thought to be the only living panda in the world with a rare coat of white and brown.

Too cute to bear: Qizai, from China, has proved that when it comes to a panda, it’s not always a case of black and white

Un-bear-lievable: The seven-year-old is thought to be the world’s only living panda who has a rare coat of white and brown

Adorable: Abandoned by his mother and bullied by his playmates, giant panda Qizai had a hard childhood before being saved

He Xin, a 26-year-old Foping native, has taken care of Qizai, whose name means ‘the seventh son’, at the Foping Panda Valley for around two years. Before that Qizai lived at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue.

The soft-spoken man spends up to 18 hours a day looking after the bear, getting up at 6am in the morning to feed him bamboo and going to bed at midnight after making sure that the panda sleeps well.

‘He is slower than the other pandas, but he is also cuter,’ Mr He told MailOnline, describing him as a ‘gentle, funny and adorable’ animal.

The keeper said Qizai does not act as quickly as the other pandas.

Mr He said: ‘All pandas here have names. When I call out their names, the other black-and-white pandas would react and come to me quickly, but for Qizai, it usually takes sometime to him to realise that.’

The man added that when Qizai was a cub, he had been bullied by other pandas who would eat his bamboo.

‘He eats more slowly than the other too,’ Mr He said.

However, after he reached adulthood, Qizai has been raised in a separate enclosure. He is fed four to five times a day, and his meals range from bamboo, to milk to Chinese flour buns.

The famous bear now weighs more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), the normal size for a seven-year-old panda, and can eat around 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of bamboo every day.

Before being moved to the Foping Panda Valley, Qizai lived at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue after being saved by experts

His keeper gets up at 6am to feed Qizai bamboo and goes to bed at midnight after making sure that the panda sleeps well

‘He is slower than the other pandas, but he is also cuter,’ said Mr He, adding Qizai was ‘gentle, funny and adorable’ animal.

As the brown bear grows older, Chinese experts are now planning to arrange mating for Qizai, according to Youth.cn. They are hoping that by observing and studying the appearance of his child, they would be one step closer to understanding the cause of the fur colour of Qizai, whose mother is black and white.

Mr He was not aware of the details of the plan, however he said he suspected it would be next year as ‘normally when a panda reaches seven years old, mating will be arranged.’

As for Qizai’s white and brown coat, it could be due to a gene mutation, said Mr He.

The keeper said the pandas from Shaanxi, a province in central China, have different appearance to those from south-west China’s Sichuan province, where the giant pandas are thought to originate.

‘The pandas in Shaanxi have lighter fur colour than the Sichuan pandas,’ said Mr He.

‘Some of them have dark brown fur around the stomach,’ he added. ‘But Qizai is the most brown panda of them all.’

The adorable bear frolics and eats 44 pounds of bamboo a day in Foping Panda Valley, Shaanxi province, central China

Qizai the brown bear is given four to five times a day, and his meal range from bamboo, to milk to Chinese flour buns

The famous bear now weighs more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds), the normal size for a seven-year-old panda

As the brown bear grows older, Chinese experts are now planning to arrange mating for Qizai, according to Chinese media

Experts are hoping that by observing and studying the appearance of his child, they would understand Qizai’s fur colour

Researchers in a nature reserve in Qinling Mountains in China, found Qizai after his mother had apparently disappeared into the jungle.  Qizai was only a two-month-old cub, weak and alone.  To protect him, the researchers took him to the nearby Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue, Breeding and Research Centre where he was given medical treatment.  He has since grown into the fine, eye-catching specimen he is today.

There are 1,864 wild pandas in the world, mainly living in bamboo forests high in the mountains of south-west China.  This September,  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a report that the giant panda is now classified as a ‘vulnerable’ instead of ‘endangered’ species.

Katherine Feng, an American vet and member of the International League of Conservation Photographers photographed Qizai in 2015.

Ms. Feng said: “Brown and white pandas have only been seen in the Qinling Mountains. The Qinling Mountain pandas are considered a different sub-species from those found in other mountain ranges.

The brown and white coloring of pandas has a genetic basis, possibly as the result of a double recessive gene, a combination of genes or a dilution factor gene. Qi Zai’s mother was black and white.”

Since 1985, there have only been five sightings of brown-and-white pandas.

(Source)

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