Here’s a fact – Baby pandas have a 60% chance of surviving in the wild!
These newborns usually weigh between 0.1-0.5 pounds (which is only 1/900 of their mother’s weight). This is one factor why their survival rate is too low.
In this article, I will discuss the four common reasons why baby pandas die easily.
Table of Contents
- # 1 – Baby Pandas are Vulnerable at Birth
- # 2 – Baby Pandas are Mostly Born as Twins
- # 3 – Pandas’ Mothers Mistakenly Crush Them To Death
- # 4 – Insufficient Habitat for Panda Mothers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
# 1 – Baby Pandas are Vulnerable at Birth
The panda’s cubs are very needy and helpless at their tender age.
They are tiny, born blind and without furs on their body.
Their hind limbs are very weak to carry them and as such, they can’t stand until they are up to 6 months old.
During this period, baby pandas are purely defenseless and dependent on their mothers for milk, warmth, and protection.
# 2 – Baby Pandas are Mostly Born as Twins
In the wild, 50% of panda births are twins.
The chances of both babies surviving in the wild are very slim because pandas’ mothers do not have enough milk and energy to care for both.
So it will choose to raise the stronger baby panda and abandon the other twin to die.
This is different in captive breeding because the pandas’ caretakers are trained to ensure both twins survive and grow perfectly.
They give them milk, clean them up, and administer other necessary care that they need.
# 3 – Pandas’ Mothers Mistakenly Crush Them To Death
Panda cubs stand the possibility of being crushed by their mothers who weigh up to 200 lbs (90 kg).
This is because of their small size and fragile state. Although it is not intentional, it happens often.
According to NBC News, In 2006, a nursing panda in a zoo in China accidentally crushed her baby after it left the other twin to die.
This vulnerability of baby pandas has made zoo watchers alert whenever they are born.
This is to make sure they are not hurt by their mothers.
Brody has said, considering the size difference between the pandas’ mother and her baby, it’s surprising they do not get crushed more often.
Recommended Reading: All About Panda Cubs.
# 4 – Insufficient Habitat for Panda Mothers
Pandas might be surviving well in captivity but it is a different ball game in the wild.
Deforestation can destroy their habitat which means that the female pandas will have insufficient food to eat and support their pregnancy.
Thus, baby pandas die off in their mother’s womb before they are even born.
The goal should be to worry about how small and delicate baby pandas are and find measures to help them live.
Now that you have learned the reason why pandas die easily, won’t you also like to know what the government is doing to help them survive?
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does The Government Help Baby Pandas?
The government has tried to help baby pandas survive. They’ve employed 3 different strategies to ensure that they stay unhurt.
Let’s see some of them below;
Protecting Pandas Habitat
Without the pandas’ habitat, they can only survive in captivity.
The government has converted many land areas that used to be farmland to grow back into the forest.
This way, bamboo, and other trees get to grow well and the pandas’ habitat is recovered.
Therefore pandas’ mothers have enough to eat and support their pregnancy.
Raising pandas in captivity is another measure the government has taken to help baby pandas.
They build more zoos and natural reserves to encourage their breeding.
By doing this, panda’s mothers get to be fed well when they are pregnant and also monitored after birth.
Their cubs are most times separated from them, taken care of by trained personnel, and kept in a different enclosure to make sure they are safe.
Making Strict Laws That Guides Pandas Hunting
People hunt pandas for food and poaching.
The government has made rules to guide the movement, anyone caught defaulting the laws will be severely punished.
Doing this stops pandas from hunting and more of them survive.
Their reproduction is encouraged and the baby pandas get the right to be born.
How Can I Help Baby Pandas?
You can help baby pandas survive by doing the following:
Taking Part in Baby Panda Volunteer Programs
These volunteer programs are usually organized by zoo officials. It usually comes up in summer.
Here, panda lovers get the rare opportunity to see baby pandas, feed them with milk and bamboo shoots, clean them up and arrange their enclosure.
By doing this, you offer your little help to make pandas’ cubs live better.
Donate & Sponsor a Panda
You can make your contribution to saving the lives of these tiny and helpless pandas by donating for their feeding.
The funds can be used to buy their milk, put their healthcare facilities on standby, and sponsor studies into their preservation.
Reducing Paper Usage
The primary source of food for giant pandas is bamboo.
But they are becoming rare due to human recycling of bamboo sticks to make papers.
When we cut bamboo for our needs, we wipe out the pandas’ habitat and food source.
And this has a bad effect on them, especially the pregnant female species.
They are left with insufficient food to eat, and the baby pandas in their womb die off due to starvation.
By cutting less bamboo for paper, we help baby pandas survive in their mother’s womb.
Generally, baby pandas die easily because of their small size and delicate nature.
The government has created means to help them, and you can also do your part too!
The entire effort is to ensure the welfare of pandas and encourage their productivity.
Now that it is clear to you, would you like to know why pandas’ mothers abandon one of their twins after birth?
Read our article “Why Do Giant Pandas Abandon One Twin?” To find out more.