Do People Eat Pandas?

Panda Bears are known to be rather cute and harmless animals. They mainly eat bamboo and are relatively lazy compare to other bears on the planet. They’re not known to be aggressive towards humans, although mother Panda Bears can be aggressive if they feel their young are being threatened.

These animals are native to southeast China but have survived in captivity in other countries. Currently, you can only find wild pandas living in the mountainous regions of central China.

Many people know that people in China and those who travel there tend to be adventurous in their eating habits. They eat cockroaches, scorpions, and other interesting things many people in other parts of the world wouldn’t consider trying.

So, do humans eat Pandas? Eating Pandas is not something humans generally participate in nowadays. But, this doesn’t mean that humans didn’t eat pandas in the past.

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Consumption of Pandas in Prehistoric Times

Do People Pandas?
Do People Pandas?

While consuming Pandas is not “normal” in our modern times, humans did dine on these adorable animals back in prehistoric times. Fossils have been recovered from China that suggests that primitive humans used to hunt Giant Pandas.

The fossils that archeologists found have evidence that primitive people used to cause harm to pandas. Granted, just because the fossils show that humans harmed pandas, many people speculate if humans actually ate them or not.

But in prehistoric times, primitive people wouldn’t have harmed an animal that they had no intention of eating or using for something. While it’s not a 100% fact that prehistoric humans ate panda meat, it’s highly likely based on fossil evidence.

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We’ll never know if primitive humans enjoyed the taste of Pandas or if they ate them more out of necessity than flavor, but it’s clear they used to slash Pandas for their meat.

You may be wondering why primitive humans hunted those fluffy, cute animals roaming the forest. According to fossil records, the Pandas that existed in prehistoric times were slightly different from the ones we have in the modern world. Giant Pandas can reach anywhere from 200 to 330 pounds. Pandas in the prehistoric era were much smaller than the Pandas you’ll see now, and there used to be a lot more of them.

Why Don’t Humans Eat Panda Anymore?

Panda Eating a Bamboo
Panda Eating a Bamboo

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You may be asking yourself if our prehistoric ancestors ate Panda Bears, why don’t we in modern times?

Well, there are several reasons why modern humans don’t dine on these goofy bamboo-eating animals. However, it’s important to note that there still may be a few people who eat on these animals, even though it’s doubtful since the species is endangered.

The first reason why most humans don’t consume Panda Bear meat is that it’s illegal to hunt Panda Bears in China. While many people don’t physically hunt the food they eat, hunting these animals is prohibited, making it much harder and nearly impossible to get ahold of Panda Bear meat.

Giant Panda Bears are at risk of extinction in the wild. Despite having no natural predators in the wild, Panda populations have been suffering. Currently, there are less than 2,000 Panda Bears left in the wild. Poaching had a negative impact on Pandas for a long time, but when the Wildlife Protection Act was signed into effect in 1988, poaching became less problematic.

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Along with the Wildlife Protection Act, China has been cracking down on people consuming rare and endangered animals. China added pandas to their list of rare animals, and those who are involved in any part of hunting or consuming any animals on that list have the potential to be in jail for ten years. You can be prosecuted under this regulation if you hunt the animal, eat the animal knowing what it was, or if you purchase it for consumption.

The second reason humans don’t eat Panda Bears anymore is that they’re not the most mouthwatering meal, according to the records we do have.

What Does Panda Taste Like?

There aren’t many accounts of what Panda meat tastes like, but there’s no wonder why it’s not a sought-after piece of protein from the accounts we do have.

In the 1980s, a Chinese farmer was prosecuted for illegally hunting a Panda Bear. This farmer told the judge that his wife had cooked the meat from the Panda he illegally hunted. While this is a prohibited act, the farmer did tell the judge that it tasted absolutely horrible. There’s no real description of what the meat tasted like, but it was terrible enough that he didn’t want to eat it again. Giant Panda tasted so awful that he wouldn’t eat it and fed it to his farm animals.

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Many people assume that Panda meat would taste similar to brown and black bear meat which was widely consumed in North American in the 18th century. It may taste similar, but what an animal tastes like is dependent on its diet. Brown and black bears are more carnivorous, whereas Giant Pandas consume mostly bamboo.

Generally, an animal’s meat will taste “better” if they have a varied diet. Since Giant Pandas really only eat bamboo and the occasional rodent, likely, their meat won’t taste good.

Facts about Giant Pandas

These adorable animals are incredibly goofy. But there’s plenty of facts about these animals that make them interesting. Panda Bears have an elongated wrist bone that allows them to grip food as if they had a thumb.

Almost everyone knows that Panda’s primary source of food is bamboo. But did you know that they spend anywhere from ten to 16 hours a day eating? These large animals are known as umbrella species. That means that Pandas are protecting other species in their natural habitat. Therefore, if we protect Pandas, we’re protecting many more species too.

Prehistoric humans used to hunt Pandas for their meat and probably their fur. While based on fossil evidence, this was a common practice, that’s not the case in the modern age. People no longer consume Pandas. It’s illegal to hunt, sell, and consume these endangered animals, which makes eating them, not worth it.

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