More About Pandas

In my previous post, I shared the Pandagram which detailed how I photographed this beautiful creature.  In this post I wanted to discuss a bit about the animal itself.   I got some great information about them from a kind Volunteer.  She explained that this particular Panda's name, "Tian Tian" means "more and more".  He can eat up to sixty pounds of bamboo a day which is shipped in from Maryland.  He also eats some fruits, but no meat at all. He was born in China in 1997 before being sent to Washington.  With only about 1,590 Pandas in the wild, they are considered an endangered species.  Tian Tian was somewhat restless since Mei Xiang, the female Panda was being kept inside on a 24 hour pregnancy watch.  On April 28th, Zoo staff reported that tests showed she was not pregnant, but rather going through a false pregnancy.  On the Zoo's website they explained more about this;

"Female giant pandas almost always undergo a pseudopregnancy when they ovulate but fail to conceive. During a pseudopregnancy, hormonal changes and behaviors are identical to those of a true pregnancy, making it very difficult to determine if a giant panda is actually pregnant or not. This is the fifth time Mei Xiang has had a pseudopregnancy.  We expect Mei to return to normal, hormonally and behaviorally, in the coming days, which includes an increase in appetite and activity level."


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