Why Are Giant Pandas So Dumb? (4 Reasons Why!)


If you thought before that pandas are so dumb, then you would have to rethink after reading this article.

Shocking enough, people call giant pandas dumb but the pandas are so cunning and intelligent fellows. But truly  ” Why are giant pandas said to be dumb?”

Quick answer – Giant pandas are actually smart animals.

However, they are known to be clumsy creatures and many will interpret this behavior as being dumb.


But don’t get fooled by their clumsy behavior – Giant pandas can actually be aggressive when threatened!

So why do some people think they are dumb animals?

Let’s take a look at some reasons why…

Why Do People Consider Pandas As Dumb Animals?

People consider Giant pandas as a dumb animal because:

They Eat Too Much Bamboo

Pandas are notorious consumers of bamboo stems. Yet studies have shown that they do not even digest these stems properly.

Originally, Pandas have the stomach structure of carnivores just like their cousins, the black bear and brown bear. 

However, about two million years ago, giant pandas lost their taste for meat and diverted all their eating focus to the bamboo stems that grow on top of the mountains of China.

It is true that today, giant pandas still eat the occasional bird or rodent, but they stick to their predominant diet of eating more than 14 pounds of Bamboo every day. 

This is one of the reasons why it is said, that giant pandas are dumb. 

It makes no sense to eat so much junk when throughout your life you are eating the wrong kind of food.

They Find It Hard To Mate

giant panda not attempting to mate

Female giant pandas experience their fertility period for 2-4 days throughout the whole year. Yet the Giant Panda’s mating rituals can span a whole month.

The male giant pandas, in the wild, fight for a long time (up to a month) over the right to mate with the one ovulating female. 

The whole time she is seated up in the tree at whose base the males are fighting, watching to see who the new Alpha male will be so that she can come down and mate.

The female then comes down and mates with the victorious panda and climbs back to the tree. She will do this until the mating period is for her. 

With their dwindling numbers, it is in the interest of the Giant Panda to take procreation more seriously. 

This is one of the reasons that the giant pandas are considered dumb.

Giant Pandas Move Awkwardly

As flexible as giant pandas are, they still have many difficult situations to handle. 

They are often found in awkward positions, making funny noises,  falling, & rolling over, getting stuck on ladders, hanging in doors, falling off toy horses and making a fuss over bamboo stems. 

This is one of the reasons why giant pandas are described dumb animals.

Giant Pandas Make Funny Sounds

Pandas are mostly quiet & isolated animals. However, they use different sounds to express everything to each other; They might squeak, bark, growl,  or huff.

These funny noises paired with their lazy behavior could be interpreted by humans as “dumb” or “stupid”. 

While these sounds could mean a mating call or warning, most people don’t understand their language. Therefore, it’s easy for us to misjudge them!

Proofs That Pandas Are Smart

Yes, it might sound so unbelievable to hear that pandas are very smart. 

They have proven how intelligent they can be in this ways’:

  • The First Panda Prison Break In 2016.

Pandas are kept in spacious enclosures with their comfortability in mind to protect and conserve them. But as an intuitive animal, it likes to explore.

One remarkable example of the Panda’s smartness and cooperation with each other is the great break out of prison by the pandas called Qingxiao’ & ‘Menglan’.

Both pandas, however, planned and teamed up in a daring way to escape their enclosure. 

Surprisingly, Qing xiao reached the ground of the prison wall then crouched down for Menglan to climb onto its back. 

They achieved their plan and made it to their escape route.

  • Pandas Can Manipulate People 

A female Panda AI Hing was kept in a Chinese breeding sanctuary. There she lacked the sort of attention she needed, so she decided to fake her own pregnancy to get more food, care, and attention.

The Chinese researchers who kept her in the breeding sanctuary thought it was truly pregnant seeing her show off symptoms of pregnancy they were convinced. 

They gave her lots of attention, spicy treats, tasty fruits, and bamboo stems. 

Other proofs are;

  • Escaping traps set for them in the Panda research center
  • Female giant pandas protect their cubs until they are up to 5 months old. 
  • Male giant pandas often ascend trees in a backward direction to achieve a complete hand-stand using their hind feet up the tree to mark their domain.

Giant pandas have proven sufficiently smart, Their escape from traps and enclosure is enough to advocate their intelligence.

READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Are Giant Pandas Smart ( 5 Reasons Why!)

Final Thoughts

Today, you’ve found out that pandas are not dumb animals. However their playful behavior makes them look unintelligent.  

On the contrary, giant pandas are actually pretty smart. There have been some cases that support this – like the Panda prison break. 

Giant pandas were once considered an endangered species. However, due to considerable steps taken by biologists and zoologists, pandas have successfully left that list.

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it on your social media channels!