Beijing Zoo, situated in the west
part of Beijing. It was built in 1908, known as the Garden of Ten
Thousand Animals (Wanshengyuan).In 1955 it was formally named Beijing
It covered an area of over 40,000 square meters. Bears, elephants,
pandas, lions, tigers, songbirds, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses,
antelopes and giraffes were brought in the late 1950s, and a gorilla
cage, leaf-monkey cage and aquarium house, was opened, containing
specimens of over 100 species of reptiles from all over the world,
including crocodiles and pythons.
At present, the zoo houses over 7,000 creatures of 600 different
species, including the giant panda, red-crowned crane and golden
monkey unique to China-as well as the African giraffe, rhinoceros,
chimpanzee and antelope; American continent; wild ox from Europe,
White Bear from the North Pole, Kangaroo from Australia, Zebra from
Africa. and elephant and gibbon from India.
The Zoo exhibits not only the variety of living places for the animals
but also proud of the different rooms, halls, pavilions and luscious
trees and plants. It combines the garden arts of the East and West
that typically adapts to the environment of the wild animals living
Beijing Ocean Hall was opened to the public inside the Zoo in 1999.
It is the biggest ocean hall in China. Besides enjoying the sight
of all the different species of fish, you are invited to watch the
shows performed by the dolphins and the sea lions here in the Hall.
The most famous animal in Beijing Zoo is the panda bear.
Panda Bear-China’s National Treasure
The Panda Bear is a probably the most famous Endangered Animal.
The Pandas inhabit in southwest part of China. Writings about the
Pandas can be traced back 3,000 years. They were even kept as pets
by Chinese Emperors. The Panda was first introduced to the Western
world in 1869 by a French missionary. He sent a pelt to a Museum
Panda Bears eat over fifteen different kinds of Bamboo. Because
of the inefficient intestinal system the Panda must eat for 12 to
16 hours a day, they can consume 10 to 20 kilograms of Bamboo each
day. When they eat fresh Bamboo shoots they eat about 30kg every
The giant panda bear only exists today in six small areas located
in inland China. The habitat, suitable for the bamboo on which it
survives, is a cold, damp coniferous forest. The elevation ranges
from 4,000 to 11,000 feet high. In most of the areas in which they
still roam wild, they must compete with farmers who farm the river
valleys and the lower slopes of the mountains.
It is estimated that there are somewhere around 700 and 1,000 giant
pandas still alive in the wild. Because they rely on bamboo as their
main food they will remain in danger unless their habitat is expanded.
The differing varieties of bamboo go through periodic die-offs as
part of their renewal cycle.
The Panda is a large mammal which is about the same size as a Black
Bear. Adult Pandas grow to be about 5-6 feet high. They will whey
up to 276 pounds and males weighing 10% to 20% more than females.
With few other enemies the lifespan of a wild Panda is about 25
years or more.
Giant pandas bears have a massive head, heavy body, short tail,
rounded ears and plantigrade feet (i.e., both heel and toes make
contact with the ground when walking in a manner similar to humans).
bear eating bamboo
A sedentary bear that usually stays in a selected
feeding area eating large amounts of bamboo, giant pandas generally
move in a slow, determined manner. When startled, they will move
at a slow trot to escape danger. Giant pandas, with their short
claws, are capable of climbing trees very easily.
The head of a Panda is very large and has developed special molars
for chewing plants. It has powerful muscles which extend from the
top of its head to the jaws giving it the ability to crush very
tough stalks. There esophagus has a though lining to protect the
Panda from bamboo splinters. The stomach is protected too, with
a thick muscular lining.
The basic fur color of the giant panda is white with black eye patches,
ears, legs, feet, chest, and shoulders. Within its natural environment
(the deep forest and, at upper elevations, snow and rock), its mottled
coloring provides camouflage. There is also speculation that its
striking color pattern may be a clear message to other pandas to
The fur of the giant panda is thick and coarse. It consists of a
coarse outer layer and a very dense, wooly-like under fur. To the
touch, the fur feels oily. This oily protective coating helps protects
pandas from the cool and damp climate in which the bear lives. In
general, a home range will vary from 1.5 to 2.5 square mile). The
range of an individual giant panda is shared with other bears. Female
Pandas have been found to stay in very small areas, only 75 to 100
acres in size. Males have larger home ranges which overlap the home
ranges of several females.
Female giant panda bears do not normally mature until they are 5
to 7 years of age. Mating begins in late-March and continues on
into May. Similar to other bear species, the female stays in heat
for only a short time, normally two to seven days. Unlike any other
bear, males will often roar to announce their presence to receptive
females. Females may mate with several males during the breeding
When cubs are born they are blind and very small. They weigh from
3 to 4 1/2 ounces which is about the size of a chipmunk. They start
out with fine white fur and will get the correct colored fur within
a month of birth. Giant panda cubs are eating bamboo by the time
they are 5 to 6 months old and are fully weaned by the time they
are 9 months of age. At one year of age, the cubs normally weigh
about 75 pounds of bamboo.
Giant pandas are one of the four bear species who do not hibernate.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, the natural food source
of these bears is not sufficiently high in calories and protein
to allow them to put on sufficient fat resources to last a lengthy
period of hibernation. Second, they live in a habitat zone where
food is available on a year round basis.
Pandas are China’s national treasure and they were sent to some
countries as National Gifts. There are about 110 pandas in captivity,
mainly in China. There are seven in the United States- Zoo Atlanta,
and The National Zoo each has a pair. The pair in San Diego also
has a small cub. There are three females at the Chapultepec Zoo
in Mexico City. There are also pandas in Japan, Spain, Germany,
France and South Korea.