Meet Ling Ling the giant Panda She has a cute chubby face from her large cheek muscles distinctive white fur and black features on her eyes legs arms She also has strong defense mechanisms such as being physically strong having powerful jaws large molar teeth and the ability to swim climbing large trees to help her survive More importantly she is a vulnerable species where only 1 864 giant pandas are currently living in the entire world making their population very small Additionally pandas have a type II survivorship curve where they have a high mortality rate throughout their entire life cubhood to adulthood Currently Ling Ling is 4 years old in human years and has experienced all the stages of her panda life cycle but has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years
She has lived in China during the newborn stage 0 to 4 months old cubhood 4 to 24 months old and the independence stage 1 5 to 2 years old but is currently living her adulthood stage 4 to 30 years old at the Toronto Zoo She enjoys her free time by playing with the other giant pandas and taking many much needed naps But she is most known for munching down bamboo and on occasions small animals and fish for 10 to 16 hours per day Luckily she has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that break down the nutrients and minerals from the enormous 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo that she eats daily Ling Ling likes her Toronto home but despises the cold Canadian climate During the dark days of winter she especially misses her homeland of the Minshan Mountains in Sichuan China She misses this ideal panda habitat because of its abundance of bamboo the isolated mountain features and the cool moist environment One 30 degrees Celsius day Ling Ling hit her breaking point She could no longer handle the freezing Toronto climate and wanted to move to a warmer environment She told her best friend Amy the zookeeper about her struggles staying warm and decided to make the voyage back to Sichuan China
However Amy didn't like that idea because of the possible dangers of her best pal living in the wild like the interspecific competition with bamboo rats the intraspecific competition with red pandas and parasitic relationship with roundworms which causes liver brain lung and heart damage Nonetheless Ling Ling decided to go on an adventure back to the bamboo forest Bye Amy I will miss you sadly said Ling Ling as she deported the airplane Me too Bye said Amy as she wiped off the tears from her face When Ling Ling arrived back to her homeland she realized that the environment was not the same as when she left The forest was once a haven for giant pandas plush with food sources greenery and few predators such as yellow throated marten jackals and snow leopards This is a different story now Today the forest is faced with many threats including the human infrastructure industry causing many trees to be cut down poaching plant harvesting and mining These new changes can lead to the extinction of giant pandas which would be devastating due to the disastrous effects that will occur to the ecosystem Pandas play a major role in maintaining a healthy environment for other species by promoting plant growth and spreading seeds If pandas become extinct they can no longer maintain a suitable habitat for animals such as dwarf blue sheep and pheasants Ling Ling tried looking for other giant pandas to play with but unfortunately couldn't seem to find any for hours This was due to the low fecundity low birth rate of 1 cub per every 2 years per female giant panda high mortality rate of 40 for pandas during their first year and low 1 7 growth rate from the past decade for those living in the wild
Finally after many hours Ling Ling meets Bei Bei the giant panda Oh my god Hi I m Ling Ling ecstatically said Ling Ling Hi I m Bei Bei Nice to meet you What brings you to this mountain replied Bei Bei I felt a little homesick I just moved back here from Toronto Canada I just missed the Minshan Mountains Anyways I'm glad I found you I haven't seen any other giant pandas for hours said Ling Ling Ah it's because of the small minimum viable size in this large forest of only 50 60 giant pandas because of the density dependent factors such as parasites and predation and independent factors like the recent earthquake and human activities such as mining Also I know you haven't been back here in a long time but usually us wild pandas like to be alone so it will be quite difficult to find company unless you are breeding which occurs once a year for only 2 to 4 days replied Bei Bei But Bei Bei how did this once so beautiful Minshan Mountains result in this poor habitat asked Ling Ling Wait This isn't the Minshan Mountain Ling Ling This is actually the Daxue Mountains replied Bei Bei After discovering this news Ling Ling realized that the Daxue Mountains is the region that was negatively impacted not the Minshan Mountains Ling Ling then traveled to the Minshan Mountains and is where she is currently living
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