Special: Qizai, from China, has proved that when it comes to a panda, it’s not always a case of black and white
Qizai was found as a two-month-old cub, weak and alone, by researchers in a nature reserve in Qinling Mountains in central China after his mother had apparently disappeared into the jungle.
For his own safety, the researchers took him to the nearby Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue, Breeding and Research Centre where he was given medical treatment and fed on panda milk saved by the centre’s staff from other pandas.
He Xin, a 26-year-old Foping native, has taken care of Qizai, whose name means ‘the seventh son’, at the Foping Panda Valley for around two years.
‘He is slower than the other pandas, but he is also cuter,’ Mr He told MailOnline, describing him as a ‘gentle, funny and adorable’ animal.
The keeper said Qizai does not act as quickly as the other pandas.
Mr He said: ‘All pandas here have names. When I call out their names, the other black-and-white pandas would react and come to me quickly, but for Qizai, it usually takes sometime to him to realise that.’
The man added that when Qizai was a cub, he had been bullied by other pandas who would eat his bamboo.
‘He eats more slowly than the other too,’ Mr He said.
However, after he reached adulthood, Qizai has been raised in a separate enclosure. He is fed four to five times a day, and his meals range from bamboo, to milk to Chinese flour buns.
The famous bear now weighs more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), the normal size for a seven-year-old panda, and can eat around 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of bamboo every day.