Why Do We Love Pandas?

They remind us of ourselves
We love their dexterity – thanks partly to that “pseudo thumb”, which functions as a sixth digit.

It’s in the eyes
We love their big eyes because it reminds us of children (‘neoteny’ in scientific terms).

They are shy
The giant panda’s enigmatic nature is in stark contrast to its sheer bulk and striking appearance.

They are cultural symbols
The panda has been made into a symbol since the 1960s. It’s been used by the WWF to convince us about the importance of conservation.

They are rare
Giant Pandas are officially listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s list of endangered species. The official population figure is 1,596.

They are peaceful vegetarians
Although giant pandas are classified as a kind of meat-eater, in the wild they eat almost exclusively bamboo.

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Image courtesy WWF.

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