Giant panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China
© Katherine Feng/Minden Picture
Beneath that cuddly exterior.... Panda Day
This giant panda is scratching a tree to mark its territory in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan province, which has strict conservation measures in place to protect pandas. While giant pandas have long been under threat as people harvest bamboo and build roads and railways through their forest habitats, it’s thought their population has increased slightly since the early 2000s. There are estimated to be about 1,800 giant pandas living in their native habitat of central China and another 600 or so in zoos. The apparent rise has seen them be reclassified from endangered species, to vulnerable, as of 2016.