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.