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Demystifying world's only white and brown panda

Reporter: Zhao Lingfeng 丨 CCTV.com

10-23-2016 04:01 BJT

China has bred many pandas, but this one you're about to see is thought to be the only living panda in the world that has white and brown fur. Panda experts in China are trying to demystify his unusual fur color.

Demystifying world

Demystifying world's only white and brown panda

Seven-year old Qizai proves that it's not always a clear-cut case of black and white.

But despite his appearances, this panda is like any other.

The superstar is fed bamboo, carrots and corn flour four to five times a day. On a good day, Qizai can easily gobble up 20 kilograms of bamboo.

The famous bear now weighs more than 100 kilograms. But that's still within the normal size for a seven-year-old panda.

Experts are observing and studying his appearance, in order to understand the causes behind his different fur color. His mother, predictably, has black and white fur.

"Based on research of white and brown coast pandas, this could be due to a gene mutation. The pandas from Northwest China's Shaanxi province have a different appearance compared with those from Southwest China's Sichuan province, where giant pandas are thought to originate," said Yong Yange, Fmr director of Foping Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas.

The pandas in Shaanxi sport a lighter fur coat than Sichuan pandas. Some of them have dark brown fur around the stomach. But Qizai perhaps is the brownest of them all.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are more than 1,800 wild pandas in the world.

They live mainly in bamboo forests high up in the mountains of south-west China, mostly in Sichuan province. But they can also be found in Shaanxi province, the hometown of Qizai.

And it's good news for these pandas - black, white or brown. This September, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said the giant panda is now classified as a 'vulnerable' instead of 'endangered' species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in China.

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