The world finally has its first look of a fully albino giant panda from a nature reserve in southwestern China.
The rare panda, believed to be one to two years old, was filmed through an infrared camera at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province last month.
On Friday, Peking University researcher Li Sheng released a still of the footage, which shows the panda passing through the forest.
“The panda looked strong and his steps were steady, a sign that the genetic mutation may not have quite impeded its life,” Li said, according to CCTV.
Because of their color and poor eyesight, albino animals generally end up as easy targets for predators in the wild.
Giant pandas typically have few natural predators, but large cats such as snow leopards can easily snack on their cubs.
The albino panda was filmed at a site some 2,000 meters above sea level. As seen in the still, it had an all-white fur and bright reddish eyes.
Albinism, a genetic condition, is the lack or complete absence of pigmentation in a person, animal or plant resulting in a white external appearance. As it is a recessive trait, the albino panda must mate with another albino in order to have albino cubs, according to Xinhua.
For now, researchers are planning to set up more infrared cameras to observe the panda’s growth and development, particularly how it interacts with other giant pandas in the area.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.