Panda's natural enemies and defences
Natural enemies and predators
- and the yellow-throated marten (a relative of the weasel that sometimes eats giant panda cubs)
Kung fu pandaThe 2008 animated blockbuster Kung Fu Panda tells the story of Po, a panda who is an apprentice noodle-maker and kung-fu fanatic. In the plot, his worst enemy is Tai Lung: a fierce kung fu fighting snow leopard.
In real life snow leopards, also a highly endangered species, pose a definite threat to young pandas. Both animals share similar geographic areas, especially high mountain ranges in Asia.
Defences: can pandas fight back?
But if If escape is not possible, they will certainly fight back. Giant pandas will display aggression by lowering their heads and staring directly at the opponent.
As cuddly as they may look, a panda can protect itself as well as most other bears by using:
- Physical strength
They can grow to be 1.5m long from nose to rump, and weigh about 150kg - that's almost 2x heavier than most adult humans
- Strong jaw muscles and large molar teeth
Although used mainly for crushing bamboo, a panda bite can be very nasty
- Panda cubs start to climb trees when they are only 6 months old, and as adults the pandas make excellent climbers.
- They can also swim and, unlike most other bears, do not sleep for months at time in hibernation
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If they defend themselves, why are pandas so endangered?
That's the bad news.
The good news is that humans are also the greatest hope for pandas because we can do something about it.
No matter where you live, if we all treat our planet better, we can guarantee a future for the giant pandas, fishes, forests and even ourselves.
Let's start now: