What Do Pandas Eat?
The Giant Panda is considered a gentle creature. Many people not very many look at these huge animals as predators. Yet, not many can answer questions regarding what pandas eat. A small amount of research quickly reveals the dietary habits of pandas in the wild.
The Diet of a Panda
A panda has what humans might consider to be a very boring diet. About 99% of the food that a panda eats comes in the form of bamboo. In particular, the shoots, leaves, and stems of bamboo are what a panda eats in its natural habitat.
This is why the panda is so endangered. The destruction of the forests in Southeastern China has eliminated a huge amount of the bamboo that the panda eats. As a result, a large number of pandas have died of starvation.
How Much Bamboo
Once again, this might like a boring diet until you realize that there is more than one type of bamboo. Of course, pandas are not human beings and they do not eat because they are looking for taste and variety. They are interested in nutrition. This creates another issue.
A panda does have to eat a lot of bamboo because the nutritional value of the bamboo is very low. In order to get the right amount of nutrients from the bamboo, the panda has to eat huge volumes of it.
The actually amount of bamboo a panda must eat is a massive 26 to 75 pounds per day. This is why the destruction of the environment is so devastating to these creatures. They must have a lot of bamboo and when the forest is cut down, there is less bamboo.
Rest of the Diet
If 99% of the diet is bamboo, then there is 1% left. This 1% consists of other plants and meat in the form of mostly rodents and other grasses that they find in their habitat.