‘Little’ panda(Panda Cubs) or ‘Lesser panda’
Date: 2021-06-09

Every August, on blistering summer days, tourists line up outside the Sunshine Delivery house of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. They talk curiously‘I heard that the panda cubs look totally different than their mothers,they look tiny,just like a little mouse,it is amazing how they grow to that size.’


When we walk up to the nursery, there will be exclamations‘So tiny!’, ‘Special glass?’, ‘More careful than caring for human children’, ‘stretch himself’, ‘hiccup! So cute’…


Crowds of tourists queued patiently to catch a glimpse of the ‘little’ panda (panda cubs).



 ‘Little’ pandas (Panda cubs) born in the summer of 2016


 In a place not far from the giant panda Sunshine Delivery House, visitors are also lining up, they are in front of another glass window to look for something. 


What are they looking at?


 It's a lesser panda cub (also called red panda)


 This ‘grey baby’ is a two-month-old cub born the summer of 2016.


  According to the display board, the red panda or lesser panda also changes color as the cubs grow up


Many people have no idea what is going on. ‘Little’ panda (Panda cub)? Lesser panda? Which one is the real little panda? It’s a difficult question.


 Actually, the first ‘little’ panda mentioned in the article is a giant panda cub, while the second one seen in the picture is a cub of a red panda which is also called a lesser panda. There's another story about how they got their names.


The name ‘panda’ originally belonged to a red panda. In the early 19th century, it was discovered to have a bear-like face and a cat-like body, hence its name. At the end of the 19th century, about half a century after the red panda was discovered, the species was not known until its fur was discovered by A French missionary, David. During this period, the giant panda was called ‘Cat-bear’ by local residents because of its fat face like a cat and its shape like a bear. Missionary David Called it ‘black and white bear’.


According to folklore, during the period of the republic of China, giant pandas are on display in Chongqing. The sign reads ‘Cat-bear’ in Chinese and Latin from left to right, following an internationally popular writing format. But at the time, Chinese was read from right to left, so visitors mispronounced it as ‘Bear-cat’. From then on, the name ‘Bear-cat (panda)’ spread. (Of course, this is just a folk rumor, not enough as historical evidence.)


‘Bear-cat(Panda)’ was first given to Little panda (Lesser pandas)(Red panda).When people began calling Giant pandas as well as ‘Pandas’, they often assumed it was something exclusive to ‘Giant Panda’. To distinguish them, Little panda who was called ‘panda’first had to be changed its name ‘wrongfully’.


Now, you can distinguish ‘little’ panda and ‘little panda’?


‘Little’ panda means giant pandas’ cubs. ‘Little panda’ is the scientific name of red panda.





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