Q:I often visit the Chengdu Panda Base, and see that pandas are only fed apples. Do pandas only eat apples as fruit in the wild?
A: Giant pandas eat different fruits. Apples are the primary fruit fed to pandas at the Chengdu Panda Base, supplemented with other fruits including watermelon, pears and bananas. Those fruits are often used to conduct positive and reward-based panda behavior training. In the wild, giant panda will occasionally eat a few wild fruits.(Li Mingxi)

Q: How many teeth does a giant panda have?Do they grow permanent teeth?
A: Giant pandas have 24deciduous teeth and when they grow into adults, 40-42 permanent teeth, depending on molar growth. Generally,giant panda have all their deciduous teeth by 5months old. At 7-8 months of age,these teeth begin to fall off and change into permanent teeth.(Lan Jingchao)

Q: Giant pandas belong to Carnivora, yet their main diet is bamboo. What are the consequences if they eat meat?
A: 99% of a giant panda diet is bamboo,but at times wild pandas are known to eat other grasses, wild tubers or even meat such as carrion, birds and rodents.In captivity,pandas are not provided with meat as some are allergic to animal proteins and in the long-term such a diet may cause digestive problems.(Li Mingxi)

Our Experts:

Lan Jingchao
Senior veterinarian and vice director of the Animal Disease Prevention and Control Department of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Li Mingxi
Senior livestock engineer, is working at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding’s Dujiangyan Field Research Center for Giant Panda.His focus is on nutrition research and raising management of giant pandas and other endangered wildlife.