China is home to some of the most beautiful and stunning natural scenery in the entire world. It is a country steeped in history, culture, and tradition, and much of the landscape in the wild remains untouched and unchanged from how it was thousands of years ago. China is also home to some of the most beautiful wildlife on the face of the earth, yet there is one creature that is synonymous with Chinese culture and that is the Giant Panda. China and the Giant Panda go back thousands upon thousands of years, which is why the country is now doing everything in its power to preserve the natural habitat of the Giant Panda, and to help prevent this formerly critically endangered species from becoming extinct completely. Thanks to conservation efforts and a vast number of panda sanctuaries in China, especially in Chengdu, the Giant Panda was recently downgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘at risk’. This is still far from ideal but it’s a step in the right direction, and it shows that we can make a difference if we try. To learn more about China’s relationship with the Giant Panda, here are some facts that you may not previously have been aware of.
Giant Pandas still live in the wild in Sichuan – Sichuan Province is considered the spiritual home of the panda bear, but as it turns out, it is also the physical home of the panda bear as well. You see, giant pandas cannot survive just anywhere in the wild. They need perfect conditions to survive, which is why Sichuan is ideal. Pandas thrive at high altitudes on remote mountainsides where there has to be a decent amount of humidity and moisture. They live in bamboo forests, which is handy because they have quite the taste for bamboo. In fact, they’re pretty obsessed with bamboo in China, as they spend as many as 14 hours per day eating the stuff. They have actually evolved to be able to harvest and digest bamboo more efficiently. In fact, a giant panda could quite happily munch its way through as much as 15 – 20kg of bamboo each day, which is astonishing when you stop and think about it. A panda’s diet consists of 99% bamboo, with the remaining 1% coming in the form of bugs, insects, and in very rare instances, small live animals.
Pandas were once trained for war – Unfortunately this next fact is true, as astonishing as it sounds. You see, in ancient times, back more than 4000 years ago, China’s ancient armies used to train and utilize giant pandas for war. You see, these animals were big, and at times they could be quite ferocious. What’s more, back then their numbers were overwhelming, and sadly, they were taken for granted and were weaponized. They were trained to attack the opposition and some soldiers would even ride on their backs and charge into battle, just like you see with horses, even to this day.
Pandas used to be called ‘Iron Feeding Beasts’ – Back in the 1800s, people used to refer to pandas as ‘iron feeding beasts’. This was because, as the panda’s diet used to lack iron, the creatures used to make their way into villages and kill and eat small animals such as lambs as red meat is full of iron. However, what’s amazing is the fact that they also used to steal the villager’s cookware, as these pots and pans were made from iron. The pandas used to lick the metal pots and pans to get the iron in their systems. They would even chew through iron shovels and farming equipment in some cases.
Pandas were kept as pets by monks – Back during the time of the Qing Dynasty, panda bears were actually kept as pets. Ancient monks in temples high up in the mountains, used to domesticate these animals and would care for them incredibly well. The monks would feed them, give them care and attention, and look after them as much as possible. One of the main reasons for this was because the monks believed that the pandas brought people good luck.
Pandas were once hunted for their fur – Sadly, one of the main reasons why we came so close to losing giant pandas completely a few years back was because of man. You see, back in 1869, a French priest named David noticed a panda skin hanging in a villager’s house. He then spread word of these “new” creatures which the locals called “bamboo bears” and more and more westerns as well as Chinese people, began hunting pandas for their fur. The fur fetched a high price on many Western markets, so more and more people began hunting the animals and their numbers began dropping sharply.
Pandas became a protected species in 1988 – In 1988, pandas were finally considered a first-class national protected species and became a national treasure of China. Since then, conservation efforts have increased hugely and people started breeding programs and wildlife sanctuaries for these endangered animals. Many people believe that Pandas represent China better than Dragons, and have campaigned to have this changed. Now, it is illegal to hunt, kill, or hurt giant pandas, we just wish this had been the case several thousand years prior.
Why shop with Panda Shock? – Now that we’ve learnt some interesting facts about these amazing animals, it’s now time to talk to you about why you should shop at Panda Shock. Panda Shock gives you the ability to wear your favourite panda clothing, rather than panda fur like people used to a century ago. Instead, you can wear items like Panda hoodies, Panda sweat shirts, Panda backpacks, Panda T-shirts, Panda bikinis, and much more besides. This means that you can dress like your favourite cute and cuddly bear, without having to worry about hurting them. In fact, by shopping with Panda Shock, you are helping pandas. You see, Panda Shock is situated in the heart of Sichuan, so the company is literally right on the doorstep of giant pandas living in the wild to this day. The people behind the site grew up here and would do anything to help giant pandas, which is why they regularly make charitable donations to panda charities, and it is why they created the website and business in the first place.