What’s black and white and fuzzy all over? It’s a giant panda, of course! Giant pandas were once an endangered species, but with conservation efforts like China’s giant panda breeding program, they are now listed as a “vulnerable” population. What does that mean? They still need a lot of help to thrive, but things are looking better. The giant panda population living in the wild grew from around 1,000 in 1970 to nearly 1,900 in 2014, when the last giant panda census was conducted—that’s when scientists counted the number of pandas that were in the wild. Great news, right? We think so. It looks like conservation efforts are working, and seeing a giant panda doesn’t seem nearly as far-fetched as it once did. But what if we told you that researchers recently spotted a special giant panda that they had never seen before. Would you believe us? Well, it’s true! For the first time ever, researchers in China spotted a rare all-white—or albino—giant panda roaming around the Sichuan province. The young albino panda, which experts believe is one to two years old, was caught on one of the cameras that was placed in the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Researchers say that the panda seems to be doing well and doesn’t seem to be affected by its albinism.
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