Wolong, Sichuan: The only white panda in the world whose limbs and hair turned golden has been separated from its mother

  China News Service, Chengdu, January 15 (Long Tingting) On the 15th, the Giant Panda National Park Administration released the world's only white giant panda outdoor activities.

Since the infrared camera recorded this white panda in the wild for the first time in May 2019, as of the end of 2020, the infrared camera deployed in the wild in Wolong, Sichuan only captured the activity of this white panda twice in February last year, and the picture was abnormal. precious.

  In the first video, a white panda is walking in the snow or "meditating and thinking".

It sat down close to the big tree where the infrared camera was installed, turning its back to the camera all the way, thinking like a quiet "little girl" for more than 3 minutes.

Three days later, in another video, it passed through dense forest and Xiaohegou and appeared in another infrared camera on the ridge 1km away. Then it took about 10 minutes to reach the foot of the mountain. The infrared camera at the foot recorded its departure. Back view.

  According to Tan Yingchun, the executive of the Sichuan Wolong White Giant Panda Conservation Research Project, judging from the images captured by the infrared camera, the white giant panda has grown a lot from May 2019 to February 2020 and is physically strong.

Compared with the whole body white when it was a child, the hair on its limbs still shows a faint golden color after adulthood.

In the two records of 2020, this white panda was acting alone. We estimate that it is now about 3 years old, and we judge that it has left its mother and established its own "gateway".

An image of a white panda captured by an infrared camera.

Photo courtesy of the Giant Panda National Park Service

  According to Li Sheng, a member of the IUCN Bear Expert Group and a researcher from the School of Life Sciences of Peking University, the white panda in the video has a steady pace, a strong body and a bright coat. It can be seen that it is a healthy wild panda.

Although the phenomenon of "Albino" is rare, it is widespread in various groups of vertebrates.

"Albino" is usually caused by individual genetic mutations in animals, which hinder the synthesis of pigments in the animal's body, and appear white, golden white or light golden in appearance.

The pure "albinism" mutation does not necessarily affect the survival of individual animals.

This white giant panda can grow up to about 3 years old, indicating that it has basically adapted to the living environment and is in good living condition.

  Li Sheng said: “From the fact that the area has not been photographed again, it may have migrated and spread from its birthplace to the surrounding habitats. Judging from the spreading habits of wild giant panda females, it is very likely that it is only female. The individual will leave the mother’s home area after adulthood and look for new habitats. In order to further understand the status of this individual and the distribution of the albino mutant gene in the local wild panda population, the monitoring scope needs to be expanded in the future And use techniques such as DNA testing to find more evidence."

  In addition to changes in coat color, whether the white panda's albino mutation will have other collateral effects on its physiology and health is still unconfirmed.

In-depth study of this issue will help to further enhance human awareness of the ancient species of giant pandas, and scientifically evaluate the impact of albino mutation genes on the genetic diversity of giant pandas in the wild, which is of great significance to the protection of giant pandas.

  It is reported that a total of about 15 people from the Sichuan Wolong White Giant Panda Research and Protection Group participated in the project. It took one year to conduct high-density grid infrared camera deployment and control on the 15 square kilometers around the white giant panda's first discovery site, in order to pass continuous Follow-up, further research and evaluation of the specific impact of albinism on the survival and adaptability of the individual.

From December 2019 to November 2020, more than 71,100 wild animal image files were obtained through infrared camera monitoring.

In addition to giant pandas, other animal species recorded by preliminary statistics include: Sichuan golden monkey, Tibetan chief monkey, red panda, black bear, leopard cat, pig badger, yellow-throated mink, sambar, tufted deer, wild boar, Sichuan takin, Chinese goral, 17 species of companion animals including Chinese hyena, Chinese porcupine, rock squirrel, red-bellied pheasant, golden pheasant; among them, giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey, yellow-throated mink, sambar, tufted deer, wild boar, Chinese goral, Chinese antelope , Chinese porcupine, red-bellied horned pheasant and other species appear very frequently.