I know in this picture things look pretty good for the cub born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC about a week ago, but things took a turn for the worse Sunday morning when the Panda cub was found dead. This was something that saddened many.
This is a big deal since it is incredibly hard to get the Giant Panda bear (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) to breed in captivity, not to mention their population in the wild and in captivity isn’t nearly as high as it should be.
There are only a few isolated pockets where they now range in mountainous central China whereas their estimated prehistoric range was much larger, it included not only a large chunk of China and extended south to northern Vietnam, Laos and West to Myanmar (Burma).
Unfortunately largely due to the burgeoning population of the area this incredible species is now in danger of going extinct altogether. Just another prime example of man’s mismanagement of the earth. Also the fact that the vast majority of their diet is bamboo doesn’t help either for there are quite a few bamboo species in their native range that will die at regular intervals thus creating a shortage for food at times.
Happily there are those who are committed to captive breeding and are doing the best to prevent this species of bear from going the way of so many others on our planet. So there is hope after all.
Thanks to the National Zoo for the image above and for your trying so hard to to revive the cub. Check out more information here.