Panda Plight in Poetry

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Around the World in 50 weeks takes us to China today!

Panda in Plight

A giant panda is truly no bear,                                                                                             but an animal that is very rare.

  Only a thousand pandas roam                                                                                               in western China; their wild home.

  Up to twelve hours a day they chew                                                                                     on shoots and leaves of green bamboo.

  Alone, a panda prefers to be,                                                                                               not in groups like you and me!

  Panda cubs have a wee tiny girth,                                                                                     weighing only four ounces at their birth!

 A cub stays with mom, a year or more,                                                                              then he flies solo – his fate unsure.

 His bamboo valleys destroyed by man;                                                                                he heads to the hills to survive if he can.

  When next you see pandas down at the zoo,                                                                      Think of their plight and what you can do.

  National Geographic Kids – Panda Cub at birth Do check out this video to see how truly minuscule a panda cub is at birth!


There are approximately 300 in captivity in reserves, zoos and wild life parks. Four zoos in the US currently have pandas; San DiegoMemphisAtlanta and Washington D.C. Giant Pandas are also found in zoos in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Mexico, France, Spain, Austria and Australia. Zoos outside of China must lease the animals from the Chinese government. This money is used for the preservation of the wild Giant Panda.

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19 Responses to Panda Plight in Poetry

  1. Joanna, enjoyed your theme and poem! Have always liked stories and movies about pandas. I was reading the links you included. Was surprised at how quickly an infant grows. It’s sad there are so few in the world. And, so many at zoos. Very informative post — liked the link a lot.

    • Joanna says:

      I didn’t realize they were such loners. Their very visible black and white coats mean they can avoid each other easily except in mating season. Yes, super rapid growth!

  2. Thank you for highlighting the plight of the panda. A few years ago I saw an excellent documentary on TV about pandas, beginning at their birth. It’s amazing how tiny they are and how much they grow!

    I hope that efforts to help them will be successful.

  3. Joanna says:

    They are so utterly weeny at birth and look so vulnerable! I hope that they can start reproducing more and having population growth in the wild, Beth.

  4. I didn’t know they liked being alone, but come to think of it I rarely see more than one (unless it’s a couple a zoo wants to show off). I love the birth weight detail. Tiny! Another lovely poem and glimpse into a different world. Thanks.

  5. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Stacy. That newborn on the video was just gorgeous, wasn’t it?

  6. Lovely poem but sad story and Panda’s are so cute.

  7. Love your poem, but so sad that the pandas have such an uncertain situation. As with all species and habitats, I hope we’ll find ways to protect them before it’s too late.

    • Joanna says:

      Thank you. In writing about these species in verse I am hoping it will help kids relate to their plight in an easier way.

  8. Leslie Rose says:

    I’ve had the thrill of seeing both the San Diego and Washington DC pandas. I’ve always been fascinated by them. I’m going to share this poem with my 5th grade class. They’ll love it.

    • Joanna says:

      Leslie, how fortunate you are! And I am more than thrilled you are going to share this poem with your class. I am writing these for kids and it is encouraging to know some kids are going to hear one of the poems! Thank you!

  9. Love your poem Joanna, very cleverly done and sending a great message. I just love pandas!

  10. Joanna says:

    I love them, too, Diane! 🙂

  11. Hannah Holt says:

    I’m a little behind from moving, but I love this series. I learn so much about the animals and your poems are beautiful and educational. More please!

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