An extremely rare white panda has been spotted in the Wolong National Park – the most important panda reservation in China – according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. The panda was already recorded on camera in mid-April, when he walked through the forest. The animal has no black spots on its body and its eyes appear to be red. Its the first photograph of a white panda ever. “Based on the photos, it is an albino and about one or two years old,” says Li Sheng, a researcher at Beijing University. It is exceptional for an albino panda to be spotted in the wild, although its white color makes it a little easier to spot.
That there is a wild albino panda is all the more astonishing considering the total number of pandas living in the wild: About 1800 animals live in the Chinese province of Sichuan, in addition to just over 500 animals that live in zoos worldwide. The endangered species is strictly protected in China. If the albino panda survives, it can live up to 30 years. The existence of pandas is particularly threatened by the loss of their habitat.