About the size of an American black bear, giant pandas stand between two and three feet tall at the shoulder (on all four legs), and reach four to six feet long. Males are larger than females, weighing up to 250 pounds in the wild. Females reach 220 pounds. A wild giant panda’s diet is almost exclusively (99 percent) bamboo. They also eat other grasses and occasional small rodents or musk deer fawns. There are about 1,600 pandas in the wild and over 300 living in zoos. Wild pandas live up to 20 years while captive pandas live up to 35 years.
Giant pandas live in a few mountain ranges in central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu. They once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing, and other development now restrict giant pandas to the mountains. Giant pandas live in broadleaf and coniferous forests with a dense understory of bamboo.
Poaching, fragmentation, decrease of bamboo food supply, low reproductive rate, destruction of the panda's natural habitat is now a major threat to the survival of the species.