The first-ever image of an all-white panda was recently caught on camera in Sichuan province and released on Saturday, according to China News Service. The footage was captured back in mid-April, while the albino panda was meandering through Wolong National Nature Reserve in Northwest Sichuan, presumably looking for some bamboo to munch on (they can’t get enough of the stuff).
The panda was caught on an infrared camera located inside the nature reserve, and no black patches of fur are visible on its body. Instead, the animal sports an all-white coat with red eyes.
Li Sheng, a researcher at Peking University who specializes in bears, confirmed that the panda is albino, saying that the wild animal is believed to be around 1 or 2 years old.
Watch below to see more close-up frames of the pale panda (VPN off):
The exciting panda news made the rounds on Chinese social media, after the image of the Sichuan-based polar bear look-a-like was published over the weekend.
Aside from the obvious references to similarities with its artic cousins, the albino bear drew a wide range of reactions among Weibo users. “What kind of whitening products is it using? What an awesome look,” posted one netizen impressed with the panda’s pale body. Other people threw shade at the poor panda, with one user writing, “Is this the equivalent to leaving the house without makeup? It looks a little awkward.” But the majority of commenters seem stoked about this unique panda roaming the backwoods of the Middle Kingdom.
Last week, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding shared news that a facial recognition app for pandas is in the works. What’s the purpose of this splendid app you may ask? To learn the giant pandas’ names during your visit to the research base. “No longer will you have to worry about upsetting the pandas by calling them the wrong name,” the research base assured everyone in a Weibo post announcing the upcoming software.
[Cover image via @四川观察/Weibo]