Panda, also known as giant panda, is of the family of Ailuropodidae.
It looks like bear with stout and strong body. A grown-up panda
normally weighs more than 100 kilograms, measures 1.5 meters long.
Its tail is short, only about 20 centimeters long. It has a cat-like
roundish face, short and clumsy limbs with five toes each. They
live in the mountain primeval forests at 2,000 to 3,500 meters
above sea level. It used to be a carnivorous animal, but later
turned into a vegetarian animal with bamboo as its main diet.
It has a huge appetite and eats 10 to 15 kilograms of bamboo every
day. The animal is of uncommunicative and eccentric disposition
and prefers to move about alone. A mother panda gives birth to
only one young panda each time. A young panda is very small and
weak (weighs only 0.1 kilogram) and its survival rate is extremely
low. It lives around 15 years. At present there are only less
than 1,000 pandas surviving. They live in China, namely on Sichuan's
Liangshan Mountain, Qionglai Mountain, Great and Small Xiangling
Mountains, Minshan Mountain on the border between Sichuan and
Gansu and the southern slope of Qinling Mountain of Shaanxi.
Panda is the rarest animal not only of China, but also of the whole world. Therefore each endangered animal kept at all the major zoos of the world has the emblem with panda on it hung on its cage. Many countries have issued stamps depicting the panda. In 1985, China issued this set of four stamps. They are entitled "Play", "Climbing", "Heavenly Joy" and "Little Companion" respectively. Though pandas are incompletely drawn on the stamps, they still look lifelike and lovable in different postures. They appear clumsy, slow in movements, but now and then would put on some funny poses. All these are thoroughly shown on the stamps. With backgrounds undecorated, the designer only depicts pandas playing with bamboo. In the "Little Companion", two pandas sit face to face, as if they have much to tell each other. With exquisite designs, simple and elegant images, the loveliness of the pandas is better brought out.