They spend 14 hours a day eating, use their wrists as opposable thumbs and appear to be wearing a fluffy tuxedo. Who are we talking about? It’s the lovable panda bear, of course.
And next week – Tuesday, March 16th – we’ll be celebrating them. Why? Because it’s National Panda Day.
Short of wearing a tux, there are other ways we can introduce their fab black and white monochrome color scheme into our homes. Sit down to dine next Tuesday, using our easy-care, 100% linen Buffalo check dinner napkins and matching Buffalo table runner, for instance.
And, while you’re eating, you can reflect on the fact that this panda appreciation day has been around since the 1960s. That was after the creation of the animal preservation charity, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (the group has a panda as its logo).
The diplomatic panda
Interestingly the panda has played a big part in East and West world diplomacy over the years. That’s because, in 1957, China gave away 24 pandas as gifts to other countries in a grand gesture of peace.
Around 10 years ago, the female panda Tian Tian was loaned to Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland by China in the hope of her producing a baby with another panda there. Those poor zookeepers are still keeping their fingers crossed today.
The panda’s poor prospects of conceiving
The lack of a baby panda bump is possibly down to the fact that the female of these loveable monochrome bears has a ‘pregnancy window’ of only three days in a year. That’s a mere 72 hours!
It’s a big part of the reason why the panda was so endangered for years – there just were not enough being born in the wild. Today you’ll find pandas being bred in zoos and that’s why in the last decade there are another 268 of these wonderful creatures now rolling around on the planet.
Panda’s favor to forest creatures
The panda’s contribution to the eco-environment is a big one. Thanks to their love of eating bamboo they keep China’s bamboo forests well propagated by spreading bamboo seeds as they wander around and chew.
Did you know?
- A panda typically lives until the age of 20 in the wild (but longer in a zoo)
- The world’s oldest recorded panda in captivity was Jia Jia who lived to the grand old age of 38 at Ocean Park in Hong Kong until 2016
- In some cultures, pandas are known for bringing good luck
- Pandas are shy with humans but love cuddling each other
- At birth, a baby panda is the size of a stick of butter
Be sure to get your black and white table linen in time to celebrate National Panda Day in style. Monochrome is a timeless look that adds a touch of class to any table.