panda face

Who doesn’t love giant pandas, those big, adorable balls of black and white fur? (Let’s just forget for the moment that they have sharp claws and can on occasion act like vicious bears.) Well, today we have some pictures of a very rare panda that you won’t want to miss if you’re a fan of these precious animals.

But, you might say, aren’t all pandas essentially rare, being as highly endangered as they are? Yes, giant pandas are indeed rare animals, but the particular panda in these photos is the rarest of the rare — he’s the only panda in captivity in the world with a certain unique appearance, and this special panda was just recently shown to the Japanese media publicly for the first time. As you will see, this is no ordinary black-and-white panda.

panda 1photo: 无锡新传媒 (Wuxinews)

Ladies and gentlemen, meet QiZai, the remarkable brown-and-white giant panda! He’s beautiful, isn’t he? But look how tiny he was when he was found and captured in 2009.

(生态)陕西佛坪发现有记载以来第五只棕色大熊猫photo: Xinhuanet

QiZai is a resident of the Shaanxi Rare Wild Animals Rescuing and Raising Research Center in Shanxii Province in Northwest China, and although there have been a few cases of brown pandas documented in the past, QiZai is apparently the only one of his kind now in captivity with his distinctive coloring.

The exact scientific explanation behind why such unusually-colored pandas exist is not yet clear, but it is thought to be caused by a genetic mutation. There are also researchers who believe the coloring is a recessively inherited genetic trait. In QiZai’s case, his mother, who was nearby when he was found, was reported to have normal black-and-white coloring. Although there is no way to know if QiZai will pass on his unique coloring to his offspring, the researchers at the animal center in Shaanxi have announced that they have plans to start breeding him next year. Well, we all know that baby panda cubs are devastatingly cute, whatever color they are, don’t we?

And with the Japanese media recently having been allowed their first official look at QiZai, of course Japanese netizens were bound to respond to pictures of the extraordinary panda with plenty of oohs and aahs. Here’s what some of them had to say:

A brown panda! Sooo cute♡!!

Ooooh, I would love to actually see a brown panda in the flesh!

This made me wonder for a moment if there are such things as albino pandas. He looks a bit like a polar bear with a shortened body.

I’m glad he isn’t colored brown all over — otherwise, he would just look like an ordinary bear!

But enough of the commentary and more of the cute! We’ll leave you with some videos of QiZai so that you can appreciate him in action. Enjoy!

Source: Naver Matome (Japanese) 
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