There can never be too many cute pandas, and Qizai has joined the ranks. He is currently flourishing as the world’s lone example of a brown panda, despite being abandoned by his mother at two months old and experiencing abuse from other pandas as a toddler.
Qizai, which means “seventh son,” was found in a wildlife reserve in Central China’s Qingling Mountains as a weak and neglected juvenile panda. His mother had fled into the woods, but one thing was certain: she was black and white.
As a consequence, Qizai’s brown and white coat takes on new life. Scientists think it was caused by a genetic abnormality. Researchers would be one step closer to solving the brown panda mystery if they could see and analyze his cub. As a consequence, Qizai, who is now 9 years old and has never married before, was paired with Zhu Zhu, an 18-year-old female panda. If all goes as planned, there will be one more brown panda, just like Qizai.
Meanwhile, Qizai is content in the Foping Panda Valley, and the days of other pandas taking his food are long gone. Qizai is cared for by a personal caregiver who plans his day around his feeding schedule. The keeper wakes up at 6 a.m. and goes to bed at midnight, simply to ensure that Qizai is fed and protected. This cute panda now weighs over 220 pounds and eats more than 44 pounds of bamboo every day.
‘He is slower than the other pandas, but he is also sweeter,’ said Qizai’s keeper, who described the bear as “gentle, entertaining, and adorable.”