7 Proofs That Giant Pandas Are Lazy (Explained!)

I’ve watched a lot of panda videos for years. And here’s something they all have in common – Pandas always walk slow, sleep frequently, and eat fast!

Does this mean they are lazy creatures?

Yes, giant pandas, are known for their laziness. They are the perfect example of “eat, sleep and repeat”.

But to be fair, their laziness might be because of their bamboo diet. Bamboo doesn’t provide lots of nutrients. As a result, pandas can be seen dozing off all the time!

There have been several occasions where they show their laziness in a great manner.

In this article, I will discuss some proof that they are the “couch potatoes of the wood”. 

Table of Contents

1. Eat All Day

Giant pandas eat food all day long. Pandas eat huge amounts of bamboo every day—anywhere from 20 – 40 lbs (9-18 kg)—in order to meet their dietary requirements.

They eat food and then snooze. After that, they eat some more and possibly just lie about for a while longer.

In fact, pandas have to eat for at least 12 hours every day in order to keep their digestive tracts full.

However, the bamboo in their diet is the source of the problem of their laziness. It is because bamboo has a low-calorie count and a high fiber content that pandas have very little energy. 

That is why giant pandas have become the lazy potatoes of the animal kingdom.

Furthermore, they not only just eat all day long, but also sleep. 

2. Giant Pandas Sleep All Day

A picture of a panda sleeping to show that it's lazy

Pandas are quite sleepy all the time. They mostly spend their days either resting or lazing around when they are not out searching for bamboo.

A wild giant panda will sleep in one of three positions: 

  • spread out on its belly or back,
  • curled up on its side
  • curled up on its back.

The duration of their sleep ranges anywhere from two to four hours. And they will typically sleep for approximately 10-12 hours per day.

However, since there isn’t much nutrition in bamboo, they don’t have any other option but to save it. This form of sleeping allows for a balanced intake of energy. 

This is why they sleep immediately after they are full and eat immediately after they awake. 

The National Zoo of the Smithsonian Institution proves the fact that pandas sleep a lot. They will wake up to eat once it gets dark, and then they will nap before going back to sleep.  

Furthermore, they are too much into sleeping that they do not find it necessary to mate.

3. They Find It Hard to mate

Pandas are so lazy to even mate. For the most part, they just eat and sleep, showing no signs of interest in mating.

When wild pandas are allowed to live in man-made environments, they become so spoiled. And this spoiled nature then leads to their laziness and they no longer feel the need to mate.

Recent research has been done by Conservation Biology on pandas. According to them, when pandas become overly used to their environment, they stop moving around for a better location.

This lowers their chances of meeting other female pandas in the wild to mate. And without sexual activity, there can be no offspring, which puts the species in danger.  

So, this proves that they are too lazy to even carry forward their species.


4. They are Too Lazy to Hunt

Pandas have become so lazy that they don’t hunt anymore.

The ancestors of giant pandas were carnivores. Hunting was their primary source of food. But due to their lazy nature, they found it very tiring to hunt. 

That is why they looked for some alternative to meat and they found bamboo. 

Although bamboo is a good alternative, it is not as nutritious as meat.

To make up for their low-calorie bamboo diet, giant pandas, according to recent research, have become lazy.

5. Giant Pandas Are Lazy Walkers

If you notice a panda, you will see they walk like sloths. Sometimes they even doze off while walking.

They are only active 49% of the time, and when they walk, they walk very slowly. Several kinds of research show that the average rate of a panda’s movement is less than 20 meters per hour. 

Even pandas kept in the zoo move less than those in the wild. They get up off of their bellies for less than a third of the whole time they were observed.

Pandas are so lazy that sometimes they don’t even move from one spot for a long time. 

If they find any place comfortable, they are more than lazy enough not to leave their sweet spot.

This makes them dozy and while walking, they keep on falling. 

6. Giant Pandas Fall Now and Then

A picture of panda rolling to show that it's lazy

Giant pandas are so lazy that they often seem to fall without any reason. They keep walking, climbing, and falling.

Since they spend the whole day lazing around, their leg muscles are not strong enough to climb or walk properly.

Due to being inactive and heavy they cannot hold their body weight and fall down. 

And that is why they prefer rolling rather than walking.

7. They Roll Instead of Walking

For giant pandas, rolling is a more comfortable mode of moving than walking.

If they find any place suitable to roll down, they would definitely roll instead of walking.

Their bamboo diet gives them so little nutrition to be active which leads to difficulty while walking. And rolling does not need much effort. That is why they become lazy and do not prefer to walk.

Although they roll as part of their playing. They climb and then roll down. They keep doing this and it’s perfectly normal for them.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Are pandas lazier than sloths?

A new study discovered that giant pandas are not lazier than sloths but equal to them. They are close to becoming the “lazy potatoes” of the animal kingdom. 

The researchers observed that their bamboo diet and the underactive thyroid is the reason they are as lazy as sloths.

Are giant pandas lazier than red pandas?

Yes, giant pandas are lazier than red pandas. When it comes to speed, red pandas easily beat giant pandas.

Even though they are relatively little animals, some of them are capable of reaching high speeds of 23 miles per hour. While giant pandas move at a speed of 20 meters per hour.

Are giant pandas only lazy in the wild?

The pandas that were kept in the zoo for the study were only active for one-third of their waking hours. On the other hand, the wild pandas were active for approximately one-half of their waking hours. 

Final Thought!

To conclude, several studies and research show that they are bound to be lazy due to their bamboo diet.

Furthermore, this low-calorie diet leads to low thyroid hormone which makes their metabolism low. 

So, bamboo does not have enough nutrition to give them the energy to be active and they become lazy. And that is why throughout the day they keep on eating, sleeping, rolling, and falling. 

In other words, giant pandas are the perfect example of “eat, sleep and repeat”.

So, all of these situations mentioned above prove the fact that giant pandas are very lazy.

Interested in knowing what these lazy potatoes do for fun? If yes, don’t forget to read What Do Giant Pandas Do for Fun? (The 3 Fun Things Pandas Do).