March 16 is National Panda Day!

March 16 is National Panda Day! Giant Panda bears are native to South Central China, and are known for the patches around their eyes and the fact that bamboo shoots and leaves make up more than 99% of its diet. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan, but also in neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu. As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, the giant panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived, and it is a conservation-reliant vulnerable species. The Panda was considered endangered for many years, but in 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reclassified the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable".

Lifespan: 20 years (In the wild)

Mass: Female: 150 – 220 lbs (Adult)

Trophic level: Herbivorous

Height: 2 – 3 ft. (Adult, At Shoulder)

Scientific name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

In honor of National Panda Day, here are 10 facts about this adorable bear:

1. The most popular names used to refer to Pandas in China today are dàxióngmāo (大熊貓 literally "giant bear cat"), or simply xióngmāo (熊貓 "bear cat").