China’s famous Giant Pandas are always black & white, right? Wrong! A rare genetic mutation can result in otherwise normal pandas displaying brown & tan coats.
Color My World Wildlife Federation
(images via: I Can’t Believe It and Animal Backgrounds)
The good folks at the WWF must have done a double-take when news of China’s newest Brown & Tan Panda was announced. Doubtless they weren’t the only ones surprised, either: a Giant Panda that isn’t black & white? What’s next, pink polka-dot penguins?
(image via: D’arcy Flynn)
Qizai, shown above at the tender age of about two months, was discovered in November 2009 by a staff member from the Foping Nature Reserve in China’s rugged and isolated Qinling Mountains. The unusually colored young panda was spied in the company of its mother, whose black & white fur and contrasting pattern was what most people expect of this iconic symbol of the conservation movement.
(images via: Simpson Street Free Press and Cadance Cherry)
Young Qizai weighed just two kilograms (just under 5 pounds) when discovered; he was too young to walk on his own and his eyes had not yet opened. Mother and cub were gently captured and relocated to the panda reserve in Shaanxi Province for their protection.