Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Taiwan Panda FDC

Taiwan FDC
Name: Cute Animal Series – Giant Panda
Date of Issue: 20 January 2008
Number: Sp.528

Having previously issued "Cute Animal Series Postage Stamps—Lesser Panda" on April 25, 2007, Chunghwa Post is following up with a set of two stamps and a miniature sheet featuring the giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, which were offered as a gift to the Taipei Zoo by China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

Tuan Tuan
NT$9.00: Yuan Yuan

The giant panda is a charming and adorable animal. It has a face of a cat and a chubby body of a bear. At birth, it weighs only 50 to 160 grams and its body appears reddish, bare and shiny. It is reared by the mother alone. It will become independent from its mother when it reaches 18 months. A grown-up panda is stout. It is about 160 to 180 centimeters in height when standing up straight, and it weighs about 80 to 125 kilograms. The fur around its eyes and on its ears, limbs, chest and back is black, and the fur on the rest of its body is white. The black and white of its coat provides a stark contrast. It has thick skin and fur, and is not afraid of the cold. Bamboo is the giant panda's main food source. It uses its sixth toe on its paws to grasp poles of bamboo. Currently, wild populations of pandas exist only in China—in the Sichuan Basin of Sichuan Province and the Qinling Mountains of Shaanxi Province. As a result of various factors, a low fertility rate, excessive hunting, destruction of habitat, and the lowering of genetic diversity, the wild population has rapidly dwindled. Yet, with growing consciousness about conservation and the concerted efforts of many, it is currently well protected.

Comment: The Taipei Zoo (Chinese: 臺北市立動物園), sometimes referred to as the "Muzha Zoo" (木柵動物園), this FDC was sent from "Muzha Post Office" (木柵郵局).

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