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The Giant Panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China.

It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The panda’s diet is 99% bamboo. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. As a result of farming,deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived. The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country.

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Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.

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