In 2019, an albino giant panda was spotted in a nature reserve in Sichuan, China, and quickly made rounds on the internet as the first and only one of its kind.
Based on the footage of the animal, its gait and stature are that of a healthy young adult, GNN wrote at the time, and researchers expected it to continue thriving in the wild.
Now it’s been seen again, and this time on video. Now believed to be 5 to 6 years old and still in good health, its fur has turned the color of light honey reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh.
There were fears it might be treated as an outcast by the famously-choosy members of the species, but the footage captured by wildlife conservationists in the Wolong National Nature Reserve shows it interacting with other black and white pandas.
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Though albinism can be found throughout the animal kingdom, it’s a very rare occurrence. Albinism usually comes as a result of a genetic mutation that prevents an animal from producing melanin. Apart from being more sensitive to light, however, albinism does not affect the reproductive or physiological functions.
“The picture clearly shows the unique morphological characteristics of the panda: the hair is white, the claws are white, and the eyes are red, passing through the lush native deciduous broad-leaved forest,” the nature reserve said in a press release regarding the 2019 sighting.
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