Why Pandas Do Handstand? (4 Things You Should Know!)


You might have seen a panda turning itself upside down on a tree. Well, That’s a pandas handstand for you!

Have you ever wondered why pandas do it?

Quick Answer:

Pandas do handstands to pee and mark their scent. It helps them push their urine up the tree trunk. This also allows them to spread their odor throughout their surroundings. 

In this way, a male panda can stop other male pandas from coming close. Thus, increasing its chance to attract a female panda.

The higher a male panda’s pee and the stronger the smell, the better its chance of getting a mate.

Yes, Pandas have other postures to mark their scent. These include the leg cock, squat, and quadrupled. But surprisingly, the handstand is better for their aim.

It is clear to you now why pandas do handstands, let’s read some more to know how they do it.

How Do Pandas Do Handstands?

When a male panda finds the perfect tree to pee, it leans on the tree facing down while its back faces up.

The importance of this is to ensure it has a wider area to spread the smell of his urine.

Pandas climb backward with their hind feet until they are in a full handstand upside-down position.

To do this, it places one of his hind feet on the tree while the other one helps him maintain balance standing on his front paws.

Here’s a video of a panda doing a handstand!

In this video, a male giant panda in pursuit of dominance walks to a broad tree, climbs on it in the backward position, and pees on it.

He did this with one of his feet up the tree, and the other used to support his paws.

The panda repeats this on different trees to spread his scent; afterward, he surveys the environment to make sure no one is coming.

When Do Pandas Do Handstands?

A picture of a giant panda urinating and marking scent on a tree.
Credit to Minden Pictures

Occasionally, pandas do handstands when they want to urinate! 

Male pandas urinate on trees to announce their presence. This leaves a warning message for other pandas to go away. 

Based on research, the rough bark of trees helps preserve pandas’ smell.

Besides peeing, there’s probably no other time a panda hangs in an upside-down position.

Can Pandas Somersault?

Yes, Pandas can summersault!

Just like their other cousins (polar bears), giant pandas are interesting and playful, most especially when they are still young.

They have heavy and thick bones for animals of their size; regardless, they are flexible enough that they can somersault.

They tumble and roll around on snow/piles of ice, sawdust, and a floor covered with bamboo.

Pandas do this as a form of play, keeping warm, and expressing satisfaction.

Sometimes, while climbing hills, pandas summersault to make the journey faster for them and not suffer their slow legs. They do it for fun too.

Final Thoughts

To recap, A male panda takes a handstand position to pee and leaves his scent on trees and the environment.

This is to scare away other male pandas and increase its chance of mating with a female panda.

Similarly, they do this acrobatic by climbing trees in a backward direction with one of their hind feet and standing with the front paws and the other hind feet.

Although it’s not usually easy peeing in a backward position, it is very helpful to male pandas.

Moreover, pandas somersault and roll around as their way of having fun and entertaining themselves.

Sometimes, they do it to keep warm also.

Besides doing handstands, did you know that giant pandas can also roll?

You can learn more in Why Do Giant Pandas Roll?