Just the other day on the radio, I learned a really interesting panda fact. Apparently, all of the pandas in US zoos are rented. The Chinese government has retained ownership of every panda in all zoos. Each panda costs 1 million dollars per year. That’s right, if a zoo has two pandas, it’s two million dollars to the Chinese per year for those pandas. And, of course, that doesn’t include any of the actual costs of feeding or housing them. And if the pandas get a little frisky and you wind up with a little baby panda, that baby panda still belongs to the Chinese government (you still have to pay for it). This high cost of rent is hard for zoos to offset; thus, this is one of the main reasons why there are only four US zoos that have pandas (San Diego, Atlanta, Memphis, and Washington D.C.). I never knew that they were all owned by the Chinese government, or that the rent was so steep to own one! Check out here and here for some of the details.
Bonus Fact about Bamboo (pandas’ main source of food): Bamboo can grow over 8 feet in a single day!