The giant panda , or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca , literally meaning "black and white cat-foot") is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora , the panda's diet is 99% bamboo . Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves , oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed. _x000D_
The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. _x000D_
The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species . A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable. _x000D_
While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem , in recent decades the panda has also served as an emblem for the country. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese coins in gold, silver, bimetallic gold & silver, platinum, palladium, bronze, brass, and copper.
Description above from the Wikipedia article Panda bear
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