ALBINO PANDA BEAR CAUGHT ON FILM FOR FIRST TIME EVER IN CHINA RESERVE
Albinos are, as we all know, pretty rare. But I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of an albino panda bear before. I know I’ve never seen one. Well, until now, that is. So for the first time ever, a camera caught some amazing pictures of an albino panda bear in the wild. The above picture is from the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Wenchuan County, which is in China’s southwest Sichuan province. But you don’t have to be a wildlife fan to be excited. No one has ever seen a picture of one before! So in other words, there have been albino pandas. But there’s never, ever, been photographic proof.
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AT FIRST, SCIENTISTS WEREN’T SURE WHAT THE CAMERA CAUGHT ON FILM
This picture from April captures the pale creature as it crosses thru a forest in the reserve. But at first, no one was exactly sure what the camera captured. But scientists eventually realized that the all-white body and reddish eyes are, in fact, caused by albinism. So if you didn’t already know, that is a rare genetic condition where there is a partial or total lack of any skin pigment, or melanin. That means white skin, white fur, reddish eyes, etc. Albino’s can have shorter life spans, depending on what kind of animal it is and how dependent they are on being less visible, never mind all white.
WITH ONLY 2,000 PANDAS LEFT IN THE WILD, AN ALBINO IS INCREDIBLY RARE
The reserve issues a statement, saying that the panda seems to be “physically strong, with a steady gait.” So in other words, being an albino hasn’t affected the animal’s normal ability to function in any way. Local experts believe that the panda is 1 or 2 years old. So far, there’s no word about its gender. The motion-activated infrared camera has been in place since last December. The reserve installed it to track and monitor wildlife in that area. Albinism is pretty rare. But since pandas only number about 2,000 remaining in the wild, this is sighting is incredibly rare indeed.