Being unique is not always a boon for many of us, and this brown panda is the perfect example. Although Qizai is the only brown panda in the world, he had a difficult start as a baby. When he was only two months old, the poor baby was abandoned by his mother. Other pandas bullied him and didn’t let him get enough food.
But now, Qizai is a celebrity and is thriving with the help of his caretaker!
20. Qizai, ‘the Seventh Son’
This brown panda was found weak and alone in the Qingling Mountains, Central China, in a nature reserve. It seems that his mother has disappeared. One thing was certain: the mother was black and white.
19. An Intriguing Coat
Despite the fact that all the pandas in the nature reserve are black and white, Qizai was born brown and white. Scientists believe it is a genetic mutation. Qizai has overcome the difficulties of childhood and he is now 8 years old!
18. Living the Life
Qizai lives at the Foping Panda Valley, and no longer has to worry about his food being stolen by other pandas. Those times are long gone! The brown panda even has a caretaker that spends all day long to care for him…
17. An Eating Schedule
The brown panda gets full-time service, from 6 a.m. to midnight. His caretaker makes sure the panda gets enough food and is safe. You won’t believe how heavy Qizai is!
16. The Giant Panda
Qizai is over 220 pounds and every day he eats over 44 pounds of bamboo. ‘All the pandas here have names. When I call their names, the black and white pandas would react and come to me quickly’, said the caretaker. But…
15. The Cute Brown Panda
‘For Qizai, it usually takes some time [for]him to realize,’ said the caretaker. But he admits that the bear is a ‘gentle, funny and adorable’ animal. And just by looking at the images with Qizai, it’s all true! But there a few other things that make Qizai special!
14.A Slow Panda
‘He is slower than the other pandas, but he is also cuter,’ Qizai’s keeper said in an interview. This is probably the reason why he was always out of food as a baby. Fortunately, things are different now and you won’t believe how happy he looks in the following photos!
13. The Brown Panda is Doing Great
Other pandas were faster and dug in, while he was left behind… And his mother abandoning him didn’t help either. But the tough times are long gone, and the celebrity panda gets a feast every day!
12. Reaching Adulthood
Qizai is now eight years old and experts are planning to find him a mate. They believe that he will, perhaps, pass on his unique brown color to his babies. This way, experts can understand the mutation…
11. Photos of Qizai
Katherine Feng, a vet from the US and a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers visited Foping Panda Valley and had the chance to photograph the famous brown panda. This is what she said.
10. Qinling Mountains
‘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,’ said Ms. Feng. Here’s what you need to know about this…
9. A Genetic Basis
Ms. Feng continues: ‘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.’ And that’s not all!
8. Qizai’s Fur
Because Qizai’s mother was black and white, the only explanation is that the famous brown panda’s unique coat is the result of a gene mutation. There have been other five brown pandas in the world…
7. Spotted First in 1985
The first brown panda spotted was in 1985. Since then, people have only seen a total of five brown pandas. And now we have the adorable Qizai!
6. Pandas in Shaanxi
There are pandas in Shaanxi (central China province), that, according to the keeper, are different in appearance from the pandas in south-west China’s Sichuan province, where giant pandas are believed to have originated from.
5. Lighter Fur Color
‘The pandas in Shaanxi have lighter fur color than the Sichuan pandas,’ said the caretaker. Although ‘some of them have dark brown fur around the stomach’, he says that ‘Qizai is the most brown panda of them all.’
4. Qizai Is an Adult
The caretaker said that the brown panda reaches maturity and could start mating. He said that ‘normally when a panda reaches seven years old, mating will be arranged’, so Qizai probably has found a pair by now…
3. A Happy Panda
No matter how it turns out, the famous brown panda is happy to eat his bamboo and to have a full-time caretaker. With his weird appearance, experts are still wondering about the origin of his beautiful fur.
2. There Aren’t Many Pandas
There are only 1,864 pandas in the wild, worldwide! They live in bamboo forests, up in the mountains, in Sichuan province and also in Shaanxi province, where Qizai was born. He is the only brown giant panda in the world!
1.A Vulnerable Species
A couple of years ago, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported that the numbers of giant pandas are growing, making them only a ‘vulnerable’ species and are no longer an ‘endangered’ species.
And whoever wants to say hi to Qizai, you can find him at the Foping Panda Valley! Remember, if you call him, he’s gonna come… eventually!