What Do Panda Bears Eat

A panda bear is one of the most popular bears in the world. You can easily recognize them due to their black eye patches and black ears. Their tails, shoulders, and legs are black but the rest of their body is white. These large mammals are native to central China.

The same way as other bears, pandas have short tails that measure between four and six inches long. While the majority of them weigh an average of 220 to 254 pounds, they are moderately large creatures. In fact, male pandas can weigh up to 350 pounds.


Pandas and Their Food

Panda bears mostly eat the young bamboo’s shoots and leaves. They can eat about 20 to 30 lbs of bamboo in a single day. They are generally omnivorous, but they also eat wood mushrooms, insects, small rodents, the bark of trees, flowers, roots, fruits, fish, eggs, and honey, if necessary.

To replenish their protein stores, they also welcome small birds to their diet. They usually climb high into mountainous areas to avoid high temperatures.

Since bamboo is very low in nutritional value, these large mammals eat a lot of bamboos to prevent starvation. They spend their time eating up to 14 hours. After that, the rest to prepare for the next feeding. They eat 25 different bamboo species more info: Instead of stems, they prefer eating the leaves. Only 20 percent of the bamboo are absorbed by the body, so they choose the most nutritious and juicy parts.

They drink water once a day. That is why they choose to live in forests with a nearby source of water. In case the water source is distant, they have to burn high amount of energy just to get there. If not, they will suffer from dehydration because they require more water than they need to drink.

Bad Diet

Did you know that their digestive system is designed for carnivores? Meaning, they cannot digest bamboo properly. Although their main diet is bamboo, it still does not give them very much protein or energy. They only digest the bamboo due to special bacteria found in their stomach and intestine.

The bad news is that panda bears do not have these beneficial bacteria in their digestive system when born. This requires them to require bacteria while growing. The feces of their mother contains all the essential microbes to start this process. It’s a gross thing to eat poop, but it will help them to survive their youth life.


Panda bears should live in habitats with a lot of bamboo and nearby source of water. Aside from high volumes of bamboo, having more than one species of bamboo in their habitat will help them to survive.

Most pandas prefer living in valleys or mountainous regions. If necessary, they move to different habitats to find bamboo shoots. That is because leaves tend to be more nutritious and commonly grow at varying altitudes in varying seasons.

Final Thoughts

Many people adore pandas for their semblance to huggable teddy bears. They are recognizable because of their spotted black and white color. Plus, you might think of bamboo every time you see a panda bear.