Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Giant Panda's of Macau
A week before Christmas 2010, Macao rolled out the red carpet for two VIPs from Sichuan in southwest China – a pair of young giant pandas. They were sent by the central government as a gift to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule. Kai Kai and Xin Xin arrived in a chartered plane and were greeted at the airport by cheering senior officials, dozens of young students, and veterinary doctors. Then, guarded by a dedicated security team, the two big cuddly creatures were driven in a specially designed van to their 90-million-pataca home in Macao – the newly built 3,000-square-metre Giant P Kai Kai and Xin Xin, whose names were derived from the Chinese characters for ‘happy’, have lived up to expectations and brought delight to their fans.anda Pavilion in Seac Pai Van Park in Coloane. Maria sent me these two FDCs , one with the two stamps and the bigger cover with the souvenir sheet. These were issued on 18.12.2010 to celebrate the arrival of the first two pandas to Macau.
This post is about the mammal in the bear family. The panda ("black and white cat-foot"), also known as the giant panda to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda, is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.
The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. As a result of farming,deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.
The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.
While the dragon has often served as China's national emblem, internationally the panda appears at least as commonly. As such, it is becoming widely used within China in international contexts, for example the five Fuwa mascots of the Beijing Olympics.