The world's only known albino panda bear was recently caught on camera trying to communicate with a "normal" panda bear and its cub in a Chinese nature reserve.
The unusual footage, taken at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, shows the bear approaching the mother, who remains calm despite her cub walking nearby. However, when the albino panda began to stare at the cub, the mother chased him away.
Watch the albino panda bear:
The mother's unusual and inclusive attitude toward the albino bear led the reserve authorities to speculate that there was a good possibility that the "normal" female was also the mother of the albino bear, so she remained calm when he approached her. Typically, when panda breeding season begins, females who already have cubs behave violently toward other adult pandas that approach them.
In response to the videos, Wei Rongping, a senior engineer at China's China Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center, said he estimates the cub's age at one to two years, compared to the albino panda, which is almost the size of an adult panda. "What's special about this case is the fact that the female panda with the cub remained calm despite the approach of the albino panda. This is not normal behavior for female pandas," Rongping told The Straits Times.
Either way, the expelled albino panda eventually returned to the scene, after the mother and cub left. The albino panda was recorded smelling the area where the mother was staying with the cub.
"Not normal behavior." Panda bear, photo: AP
The albino panda bear was first identified by Chinese research and conservation officials in 2019. Then, for the first time, the reserve's infrared cameras filmed it spinning at 2,000 meters above sea level. The bear's age was estimated at the time to be between one and two years, and it was officially recognized as the only albino panda in the world.
In China, where pandas are considered a national treasure, the birth of an albino panda bear is a very rare event, because it is a vulnerable species with few individuals. In fact, there are only about 1,800 pandas living in the wild today. However, in light of vigorous Chinese conservation activity, there has been a recovery in the number of pandas in recent years, and the species is now listed as being in a vulnerable state and not as in immediate danger of extinction.
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