What do pandas eat?

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Giant panda An An eating bamboo
© Susan A. MAINKA / WWF-Canon

Virtual Gifts

Virtual Gifts / ©: WWF

The simple answers is: bamboo.

A Panda's daily menu consists almost entirely of the leaves, stems, and shoots of various bamboo species.

Bamboo contains very little nutritional value, so pandas must eat 12-38kg every day to meet their energy needs.

Only about 1% of their diet is made up of other plants and meat. Occasionally the panda will hunt for pikas and other small rodents.

As members of the bear family, giant pandas possess the same digestive system of a carnivore. But they differ in the sense that they have adapted to a vegetarian diet.

This behaviour defines their lives in many ways, since they will often rely on living close to areas where bamboo is abundant. This leaves them vulnerable to any loss of bamboo habitat – a key threat to their survival.

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