Giant Panda
The Giant Panda is a mammal classified in the bear family, native to central-western and southwestern China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The Giant Panda has a diet which is 99% bamboo.

The Giant Panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. It once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing, and other development now restrict the Giant Panda to the mountains. The Giant Panda is an endangered species and highly threatened. Though reports show that the numbers of wild pandas are on the rise, the International Union for Conservation of Nature believes there is not enough certainty to remove the Giant Panda from the endangered animal list.

As an endangered species, the panda is both a national symbol of China and an international symbol of environmentalism. Jingjing, the Fuwa of 2008 Beijing Olympics is a panda whose forest origins symbolize the harmonious coexistence of humankind and nature.

Giant Panda images appear on a large number of modern Chinese commemorative silver, gold, and platinum coins. Giant Panda is a favorite of the public, at least in part because many people find that it has a baby-like cuteness.
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