It’s shocking to think that there are only about 1600 giant pandas remaining in the wild.
Today they can only be found in the forest areas high in the mountains of south-western China. But the terrible catastrophe of last year’s earthquake, which tragically devastated countless human lives, has also worsened the plight of the panda.
Massive landslides, triggered by the earthquake, destroyed great swathes of forest – which had already been fragmented by agriculture, industry, roads and other forms of encroachment. That means that the pandas have even more trouble finding enough of their staple diet – bamboo.
But it’s not just that. If pandas are unable to roam freely through the forest to find mating partners – and females are only in season for two or three days each spring – the chances of breeding are even more limited.