Yes, it’s true, an all-white, albino giant panda has been photographed for the first time and it’s just as cute and adorable as the ones we are used to seeing – you know those funny Panda videos?
The incredibly unique panda, which is believed to be the first of its kind, was released by scientists at Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China on May 26th.
It’s been reported that the picture was taken in mid-April with the reserve’s motion activated cameras, and shows the panda cub walking through greenery.
According to an official statement released by the local conservation authority, the panda is apparently aged between one or two years old.
The discovery of the panda cub indicates ‘there is a ‘whitening’ mutant gene in the giant panda population in Wolong’.
The panda is assumed albino because of its white hair, white claws, and red eyes.
Albinism in mammals occurs when an individual inherits one or more mutated genes from both parents that interfere with the body’s production of melanin.
Animals with albinism are often at greater risk from predators in the wild because they have poorer eyesight and can be spotted easily.
Albinism does not affect the body structure or physiological functions of the animal, and usually has no significant effect on animal activity and reproduction.
The nature reserve confirmed the panda is ‘physically strong’ and has a ‘steady gait’.
When the rare cub reaches maturity and mate with another wild panda in a few years it’s possible the albino gene will pass on to other generations – although the nature reserve note this will need to be observed through continuous field monitoring in the protected area.
The nature reserve are planning to set up more cameras in the hope of capturing the panda cub’s growth and development.
A completely white panda has never before been caught on camera.