Qizai, whose name means ‘the seventh son,’ was always different. He is now a 7-year-old panda who resides in the Foping Panda Valley enjoying everyday life, but it wasn’t always that way. Qizai is thought to be the world’s only brown panda, and unfortunately, his rare brown and white coat meant that he had to face bullying from other pandas while growing up.
Qizai was abandoned by his mother (of the black and white variety) at only two months old in a nature reserve in the Qingling Mountains in Central China. He was weak and neglected when found and continued to struggle during his childhood because the other pandas would steal his bamboo. With the help of his personal caretaker, Qizai now clocks in at a healthy 220 pounds and eats around 44 pounds of bamboo every day.
Qizai’s keeper says of the ‘gentle, funny and adorable’ panda, ‘He is slower than other pandas, but he is also cuter.’
Experts are stumped as to why Qizai’s coat is the color that it is, though scientists surmise it is due to a genetic mutation. Many are eager to find Qizai a mate so they will be able to observe and study the appearance of his children. Researchers hope that the genetic information from his offspring will help tie the brown fur gene to Qizai and solve the rare coat mystery.
Source: Bored Panda