Panda Fun Facts

Giant Panda Calgary Zoo
Giant Panda Calgary Zoo
Panda Passage

Panda Fun Facts

Learn fun facts about the four giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo.

Four giant pandas have arrived at the Calgary Zoo and are bringing a whole new level of cute to Calgary. Get ready to explore the Panda Passage at the Calgary Zoo and get to know Er Shun, Da Mao, and cubs Jia Panpan, and Jia Yueyue.

Before you go, brush up on these cute facts and discover what makes giant pandas so amazing.

Pandas eat 40 kilograms of bamboo each day

Giant pandas love to eat and bamboo is their favourite treat. In fact, each panda eats about 40 kilograms of bamboo each day. That’s like eating 267 bananas every day!

Giant Pandas Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo imports 1,200 kilograms of bamboo each week.

The Calgary Zoo imports 1,200 kilograms of bamboo each week

The Calgary Zoo imports 1,200 kilograms of bamboo from China each week, from about 60 varieties, to feed these four hungry pandas. And you might call them picky eaters. Watch for the giant pandas as they sniff the bamboo, assessing the nutrition and quality of every piece.

Pandas poop 40 times each day

It’s true! Pandas do a lot of eating and that means a lot of panda poop. Each panda poops about 40 times each day. This can happen while they are eating or even while they sleep. Sometimes it’s hard to spot because it is the same shape and colour as a bright yellow mango.

Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue were the first cubs born in Canada

The two giant panda cubs are settling into their new home in Calgary after coming all the way from the Toronto Zoo. Jia Yueyue and her brother Jia Panpan were the first giant panda cubs born in Canada on October 13, 2015.

Giant Panda Calgary Zoo

Pandas use their teeth to strip away the outer layers of bamboo.

Pandas have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom

Did you know pandas have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom? Chewing all that bamboo takes some strong teeth. In fact, their bite is nearly as strong as hyenas, sharks, and crocodiles. That’s some serious chomping power!

Newborn pandas are 1/900th the size of their mom

They might be called giant, but newborn pandas start life very small. Newborn pandas are about 1/900th the size of their mom. That’s about the size of a stick of butter. In comparison, grizzly bears are born 1/300th the size while humans are 1/90th the size of their mothers.

Baby Giant Panda

Giant pandas leave their mothers at two years old.

Baby Giant Panda

Giant pandas live alone as adults.

Cubs leave home at two years old

Growing up can be hard and pandas strike out on their own at a very young age. By the time the cubs are two years old, they leave their mothers. Giant pandas don’t live in groups in the wild and instead choose to live by themselves. Those are some brave cubs!

All four giant pandas have interesting names

These beautiful animals have interesting names too. The adult male, Da Mao, means ‘Son of Mao’. Er Shun, the adult female and mother to the cubs, means ‘Double Smoothness’. Her cubs were born in Canada and have patriotic names to match. Jia Panpan means ‘Canadian Hope’ and Jia Yueyue means ‘Canadian Joy’.

Observing Giant Pandas at the Calgary Zoo

Pandas use their jaw strength to strip bamboo of its green outer layer.

Giant pandas are masters at stripping bamboo

Eating 40 kilograms of bamboo is a lot of work. Luckily, they are masters at stripping bamboo. Giant pandas hold the bamboo with their paws and strip the outer green layer with their teeth. It’s the green leaves and yellow inside, or culm, the pandas are interested in eating.

Giant Pandas Babmboo Calgary Zoo

Pandas spend most of their day eating.

Pandas spend 10-14 hours eating each day

Eating 40 kilograms of bamboo every day must take up a lot of time! In fact, pandas spend between 10 and 14 hours eating every day. Even with one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom, pandas can spend most of their day chomping away on bamboo.

Pandas developed a thumb over thousands of years

Well, sort of! Giant pandas don’t really have a thumb but have developed a special bone on their wrist over thousands of years. They use it the same way humans do, helping them to grasp food and peel away the outer layers of bamboo.

Their tails are bigger than other bears

Pandas use their tail for scent marking which might explain their large tail. It’s bigger than other bears, like grizzlies, black bears, and polar bears. You might spot the giant pandas walking their back legs up a tree so they can rub their tail on the bark.

Giant Panda Calgary Zoo

Pandas spend around 10 hours sleeping each day.

Pandas sleep 10 hours each day

Giant pandas love to play, climb, and explore. They also love to sleep! Giant pandas sleep for about 10 hours each day. They don’t sleep or eat all at one time but love a good nap between playtime and servings of delicious bamboo.

Pandas have been around for 2 million years

Giant pandas have been around a long time. In fact, the first pandas were around over 2 million years ago. That makes them an older species than other bears, like grizzlies, polar bears, and black bears.

Learning about Giant Pandas

Giant pandas are only found in the wild in China.

Wild giant pandas are only found in China

Four giant pandas now call Calgary home but in the wild they are only found in China. There are six mountain regions in central China where they can be found, with the cool climates and bamboo forests pandas love.

Get $5.00 off admission when you purchase your Calgary Zoo tickets online and be sure to reserve your spot to skip the lines and meet these adorable giant pandas.