Culture Notes: The Panda
As we all know, the panda is a Chinese national treasure. It is one of the rarest animals in the world. A lot of people like them because they look fat and funny. They have round faces, big black eyes and short tails. Even though they are fat, they are good at climbing. Pandas like sleeping, in fact they spend almost half of their lifetime sleeping. In China, 80% of pandas live in the bamboo forests of Sichuan province and there is a research centre for nature and wildlife there. Panda live on bamboo. Actually，their ancestors lived on meat, but it was hard for them to find meat，so later they gradually adapted to eating bamboo. As their living condition is worsening and the weather is getting warmer and warmer, there is only a small number of pandas left. But at present, their number is increasing year by year.
Some pandas are sent to other countries so that people around the world can see them. This furry black-and-white cute national treasure has played an important role in China’s diplomacy (See panda diplomacy). This diplomacy first happened in the Tang Dynasty when Empress Wu Zetian gave pandas to the Japanese emperor. Panda diplomacy was revived in the 1950s when China sent two pandas to the Moscow Zoo.
Pandas are living fossils, they have lived for more than 8 million years, still remaining many of their original features. Giant pandas are a valuable example of natural and historical heritage. To protect our national treasure, the 27th of October is celebrated as national panda day.
Panda 熊猫 xióng māo
national treasure 国宝guó bǎo
You are welcome to describe a famous animal in your country in the comments.