Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Rare all-white panda spotted in China

Chinese nature reserve releases world’s first image of an albino giant panda in the wildMore Chinese nature reserve releases world’s first image of an albino giant panda in the wildMore
Patty Aguilar | 29 May, 2019, 02:06

A rare all-white giant panda has been photographed for what a Chinese nature reserve says is the first time.

Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province released a photo this past weekend showing the panda crossing through a verdant forest in the reserve.

Animals with albinism usually have pink eyes, nails and, on some animals, scales because their blood vessels show through their skin due to its lack of pigment.

According to the reserve, the albino panda is about 1 to 2 years old judging from its size. The nature reserve where the animal was spotted plans to set up more cameras in hopes of capturing the albino panda's growth and development.

"Based on the photo, albinism has not affected the life of the white panda much", Li Sheng of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, tells May.

Spotting the albino panda is incredibly rare, given how infrequently albinism manifests.

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Officials said they would continue to monitor to see if the albino panda has any relationship to the nearby giant panda population. "This was recorded just in time".

We're lucky it did, because it's given the world our first-ever glimpse of this incredible - and incredibly rare - creature, estimated to still be an infant at only one to two years of age.

As it stands, there are estimated to be less than 1,900 pandas remaining in the wild, according to the IUCN Red List, with only 500-1,000 of those animals thought to be mature individuals.

Pandas are now listed as a vulnerable species, which means that while their survival is still threatened, conservation efforts have helped reduce their danger of extinction.

There were about 548 giant pandas in captivity globally as of November, reported Xinhua. Flora and fauna thrive in the region, also known as the DMZ, because it is rarely disturbed by humans.

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