Early Level - Suggested Activity
Background Notes for Teachers
Pandas are large mammals that live high up in the mountainous forests of central China. They shelter from the cold and damp in stone caves or trees and feed mainly on bamboo, but will occasionally eat other plant material and sometimes even meat.
Unlike some bear species, giant pandas do not hibernate in winter, instead they move to lower regions to avoid the most severe weather.
They are largely solitary animals, rarely meeting except during the mating season, which runs from March to May. The female giant panda will usually give birth to a single cub between July and September, the young cub remaining dependent on it's mother until it is at least 18 months old.
A range of organisations, including RZSS, are conducting important research to address the conservation needs of the giant panda to ensure their continued survival.