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What do you know about giant pandas? Read and complete the article to find out moreabout these cuddly black and white bears. Circle the correct words. Underline words you dont know.
Introduction The giant panda has a distinctive(a) black/ (b) whitehead with(a) black/ (b) whiteeye patches, ears and shoulders. Unlike other bear species, giant pandas are(a) carnivorous/ (b) herbivorous spending up to 12 hours a day chewing bambooshoots and roots. Because of poaching and habitat loss, they are extremely(a) common/ (b) extinct/ (c) rare, occurring in small populations in the bamboo forests of China.Despite being the subject of major international conservation efforts, wild populations of giant pandas(a) can/ (b) may/ (c) mustnot be enough to save this species.
Pandas Territory: Where do pandas come from?
Giant pandas(a) live/ (b) are living/ (c) have livedin the bamboo forests of China for millions years and have been honored by the Chinese for a very long time. In fact, giant pandas(a) appear/ (b) are appearing/ (c) have appearedin Chinese art for thousands of years. Because the giant panda is considered a national treasure in China, it is protected by law so that it(a) becomes/ (b) becomes not/ (c) does not becomeextinct.
Although giant pandas have long been known to the Chinese, they(a) are/ (b) do/ (c) havea recent discovery for people living outsideof China. The first westerner to observe a live giant panda in the wild (a) is/ (b) was/ (c) had beena German zoologist named Hugo Weigold. In 1916, he(a) bought/ (b) has bought/ (c) had boughta cub while he was on expedition.
At Pandas Place: Where do pandas live?
There is only one place where giant pandas(a) live/ (b) lived/ (c) were livingin the wild: high in the mountains of central China. There, they(a) live/ (b) are living/ (c) have livedin cold and rainy bamboo forests that are often misty and shrouded in heavy clouds. Once upon a time, giant pandas(a) lived/ (b) have lived/ (c) had livedin lowland areas. However, as people(a) builded/ (b) built/ (c) had builtmore and more farms and cities on that land, the giant pandas were forced up into the mountains. Today, they(a) live/ (b) lived/ (c) have livedat elevations of 5,000 to 10,000 feet.
Panda's Lunch: What do pandas eat?
In the wild, a giant pandas diet is 99% bamboo. Bamboo is a giant grass that(a) grows/ (b) is growing/ (c) has grownin the mountains of China. Because bamboo is so low in nutrients, an adult giant panda(a) eats/ (b) is eating/ (c) has eatenbetween 20 and 40 or more pounds of it each day. It eats the stems, shoots, leaves and all.
There are about 25 different types of bamboo that wild pandas will eat. Somenutritionists(a) think/ (b) are thinking/ (c) have thoughtthat giant pandas need to eat not only different parts of the bamboo, but also different kinds of bamboo in order to get proper nutrition. In addition to bamboo, giant pandas(a) ate/ (b) eat/ (c) have eatenother grasses, insects and occasionally, small rodents.
In zoos, giant pandas eat bamboo too, but they(a) have/ (b) may/ (c) wouldalso eat sugar cane, rice gruel, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes.
Panda Cubs: How are baby pandas born?
(a) If/ (b) while/ (c) whena giant panda is first born, it is tiny. It(a) measures/ (b) tallies/ (c) weighsbetween four and six ounces and is about the size of a stick of butter. At birth, it is pink, blind, helpless and hairless. During this time, the mother cares for it closely, often cradling it in her paw and keeping it close to her chest. The cub(a) opens/ (b) doesnt open/ (c) opens notits eyesuntil it is six week old and it(a) walks/ (b) doesnt walk/ (c) walks notuntil it is three months.
Cubs nurse for about nine months but they stay with their mothers for along time after that. In fact, it(a) can/ (b) must/ (c) shouldbe up to three years before a giant panda cubstrikes out on its own.
Pandas Day Out: How does a panda spend the day?
In the wild, giant pandas(a) spend/ (b) are spending/ (c) have spentmost of their time resting, eating or looking for food. Unlike other bear species,giant pandas do not hibernate during the winter months. They also(a) build/ (b) do not build/ (c) have not builtpermanent dens. Instead, they shelter in caves and trees.
Pandas are good climbers. They(a) can/ (b) could/ (c) shouldalsoswim, though they spend most of theirtime on land. Although they might seem pretty quiet, giant pandas(a) are/ (b) do/ (c) havemake a lot of growling and honking sounds.
Pandas in Peril: Why are pandas endangered?
Today, giant pandas(a) are/ (b) have been/ (c) will beat risk of becoming extinct. Only about 1,000 giant pandas are left in the wild. All of these(a) inhabit/ (b) are inhabiting/ (c) have inhabiteda small area in the bamboo forests of China. About 150 live in captivity. This is why the giant panda(a) listed/ (b) has listed/ (c) is listedas endangered in the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Animals. It is one of the most severely(a) dangerous/ (b) endangered/ (c) extinctspecies in the world.
Pandas in Pounds: How big are pandas?
Giant pandas are about the size of an American black bear. When they(a) are standing/ (b) stood/ (c) have been standingon all four legs, giant pandas are two to three feet tall at the shoulder. They can be up to six feet long. Males(a) are/ (b) have been/ (c) will beusually larger than females. Males can weigh 250 pounds or more in the wild. Females usually(a) grow/ (b) measure/ (c) weighless than 220 pounds.
Pandas' Political Importance: What do pandas symbolize?
In China, people(a) believe/ (b) have believed/ (c) had believedfor thousands years that pandas are special. It is said that ancient emperors of China(a) kept/ (b) have kept/ (c) had keptgiant pandas as pets. Chinese books over two thousand years old show giant pandas with mystical powers. People(a) think/ (b) thought/ (c) were thinkingthat they(a) can/ (b) could/ (c) are able toward off evil spirits and natural disasters. Today, pandas(a) believe/ (b) are believed/ (c) have been believedto be a symbol of peace and good fortune.
I beg your panda?
The 6th Finger:The giant panda has five fingers plus a "thumb," which isn't a real thumb but a modified bone that(a) allow/ (b) allows/ (c) has allowedthe panda to grasp bamboo.
Docile or dangerous?Typicallythought of as docile and harmless, the giant panda can be as dangerous as any other bear when provoked and(a) has been known/ (b) was known/ (c) will have been knownto attack humans on occasion.
Fast Facts
Type:Mammal Diet:Bamboo shoots and roots
Average life span in the wild:20 years
Size:4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m)
Weight:300 lbs (136 kg)
Protection status:Endangered
Major Threats:Habitat loss, poaching and human encroachment Habitat:Mountainous regions where bamboo is present Location:Central China Size relative to a 6-ft (1.8m) man: (see picture)

Answer Key

(b) whitehead
(a) black eye patches
(b) herbivorous
(c) rare
(b) may
(a) live
(c) have appeared
(c) does not become
(a) are
(b) was
(a) bought
(a) live
(a) live
(a) lived
(b) built
(a) live
(a) grows
(a) eats
(a) think
(b) eat
(b) may
(c) when
(c) weighs
(b) doesnt open
(b) doesnt walk
(a) can
(a) spend
(a) build
(a) can
(b) do
(a) are
(a) inhabit
(c) is listed
(b) endangered
(a) are standing
(a) are
(c) weigh
(b) have believed
(a) kept
(b) thought
(b) could
(b) are believed
(b) allows
(a) has been known