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Uploaded:2016-12-15
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What's black and white, big and fuzzy, and likes to eat bamboo all day? A panda! Join us to learn all about this rare bears and the challenges they face as their habitat disappears.

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SOURCES:
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/giant-panda/#giant-panda-eating.jpg
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/giant_panda/problems/
http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/giant-panda
https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?direction=desc&sort=extinction_status
http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/action/way04.html

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I'm thinking of an animal. It's black and white furry and kind of looks like a teddy bear. (squeak squeak) You're right Squeaks! Kids all over the world have heard of pandas, but have you ever seen one?

If you're lucky you may've seen one in a zoo, but I'm pretty sure that you've never come across one just walking around. That is because pandas are very rare, and we can learn a lot from them about what all kinds of animals need to survive in the wild. 

The animals you and I know as pandas are actually called giant pandas and they're bears in the same family as brown and black bears. And pandas, like all animals, need certain things to live. Like food, water, and a place to sleep and be safe.

We call the place where an animal has all of these things that is needs to live its habitat. The place where you live is your habitat, but let's find out what a pandas habitat looks like.

All pandas that live in the wild, that is they aren't in zoos, can be found in the mountains of China. The weather there is cool and wet, and the forests in these mountains make up the pandas habitat. Pandas make their homes, called dens, in places like the stumps of old trees or inside big hollow logs.

So these mountain forests give pandas a place to sleep and be safe. But a habitat also needs to provide food for that animals that live there. And the pandas' favourite food, by far, is a plant called bamboo. Pandas eat a lot of bamboo, and quickly. They have to eat a lot to get as big as they do.

But the problem with a pandas' diet is they don't eat much else. The fact is, they're very picky eaters, so a pandas habitat has to have a lot of bamboo growing in it. Luckly there cool wet forests of China are a great place for growing bamboo.

All in all these forests are the perfect habitat for pandas. But there is a problem. The pandas habitat is getting smaller.

A long time ago there used to be a lot of mountain forest for the bears to live in. But people started to cut down a lot of the forest to make room for buildings. And to use the wood for fuel. As they did that the pandas habitat got smaller, and separated into pieces. 

Pandas started to have problems finding enough food to eat and safe places to have their babies. And as their habitat got smaller, so did the number of pandas. So, today there are far fewer pandas then there was a long time ago.

Scientists think that there are fewer that two thousand pandas living in the wild today. But, there is good news. Once people learned that pandas were in trouble they started to do thing sto help them people aren't allowed to cut down the trees in the pandas' habitat any more, and scientists and volunteers have planted bamboo and trees to try and make the pandas' habitat bigger again.

It's hard work, but lots of people are trying to solve the problem. So pandas are already famous for being cute and cuddly but they are also a great example of how all animals need a healthy habitat in order to survive. And how sometimes, we can help protect it for them.

Thanks for joining us on Sci Show Kids. Is there an animal the you'd like to learn more about? If you have a question about the world around you, grab a grown up and ask them to help you leave a comment down below, or send us an email to kids@scishow.com.

Thanks, and we'll see you next time here at the fort

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