Most people think of a cute black-and-white bear when they hear the word "panda." One person who doesn't follow that rule just had a birthday. The Xinhua news agency said thatChina’s extremely rare brown panda turns fivein the Qinling Mountains in Northwest China.
Since 1985, this brown panda, named Qi Zai, is the fifth one to be found in China. Researchers found Qi Zai in the Qinling Mountains when he was just 2 months old. His mother had left him in the forest and then disappeared.
Most of us grew up thinking that pandas are always black and white, so the news that a very rare brown and white panda was found in a mountainous area of China may come as a surprise.
Experts were confused by the fact that Qi Lai, a very rare brown and white panda, was a different color than most of his kind. Even though Qi Lai is just as cute as any other panda, he is very unique because only five brown and white pandas have been seen since 1985.
Qi Lai was found when he was just two months old. He is now five years old. Researchers found him in a nature reserve in the Qinling Mountains in China. He was weak and alone. Scientists said that it seemed like his mother had vanished into the jungle.
Daily Mail says that the scientists took Qi Lai to the nearby Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue, Breeding, and Research Center to make sure he was safe. He was given medical care and fed panda milk that the rescue center staff had saved from other pandas.
Now, a few years later, he has grown into a good-looking adult. People on the internet are interested in the photos of him that are going around. Katherine Feng, an American veterinarian who is also a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, took the pictures.
When she saw Qi Lai, she was delivering veterinary supplies to the center that had been given by the US charity Pandas International. During her trip, she was given special permission to take pictures of the strange animal.
Brown and white pandas have only been seen in the Qinling Mountains. The Qinling Mountain pandas are considered a different sub-species from those found in other mountain ranges.- Katherine Feng
It is suspected that the brown and white coloring of pandas has a genetic basis, possibly a result of a double recessive gene, a combination of genes or a dilution factor gene. Qi Zai’s mother was black and white.- Katherine Feng
Staff at the center call Qi Lai the "seventh son." He is said to be the same size and weight as other pandas his age. He has the same black and white fur as other pandas and does the same things they do.
Experts say that more research needs to be done to figure out why there are both brown and white pandas. International Business Times says that there are between 200 and 300 pandas in the Qinling Mountains. This population is small and spread out.
Some scientists at the center think that the brown fur might also be related to the unique geography and weather of the area. They said that the soil and water could affect the color of the pandas' hair.
The cute giant panda in black and white is a big deal on the Internet, but a rare brown panda has caught the attention of Chinese social media users. Because only five brown pandas have been seen in the last 30 years, Qi Zai, as this panda is called, has become a big deal.
Chinese media said that Zai turned five. He was found as a cub in the Qinling Mountains in China. Experts say that the brown-and-white panda looks different because of something that happens in its genes.