An extremely rare white panda bear was captured on camera at Wolong nature reserve in Southwest China. The historical photo is the proof that albinism exists among wild pandas, too.
The rare animal was photographed while trekking through the forest in mid-April in southwest Sichuan province, said official news agency Xinhua. According to the Independent, the wildlife experts who studied the picture concluded the bear’s white hair, white claws and red eyes were hallmarks of albinism, a rare genetic conditon that causes a lack of the skin pigment melanin. Despite it, the animal appeared to be “physically strong with a steady gait”, indicating the condition “is not affecting its normal life”, said the Wolong National Natural Reserve Administration in a statement.
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Analyzing the picture, experts declared it is really hard to say if it’s a male or a female. However, they were able to determinate it is between one and two years old. The Wolong National Nature Reserve – where the animal was spotted – told AFP it had no further details about the albino panda. The Sichuan region is known as the home of more than 80 percent of wild pandas. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are less than 2,000 individuals left in the wild, while around 550 are living in captivity all over the world.
According to the Independent, the experts intend to install more cameras in the area with the hope of capturing further footage and tracking the bear’s development. The plan was also confirmed by Wolong reserve secretary Duan Zhaogang.