Giant pandas are found only in China. 99% of their diet consists of bamboo shoots. China doesn’t sell or gift giant Pandas but loans them to desiring Zoos all over the world. All giant pandas in the world, barring two ageing animals in a Mexico zoo, are the property of the Chinese government.
China loans them to friendly countries as “ambassadors” at very high rates, and on very strict terms. Each year, it gets millions of dollars from its loaned pandas. Renting a giant panda costs 1 million $ per year. When cubs are born outside the country, it charges a royalty on them. It charges roughly $400,000 per live birth in custody. Cubs born in foreign zoos have to be returned just after 2 year.
What’s more, the loaned pandas and the cubs born abroad have to be returned to China at the end of the contract period.
The length of a panda loan is 10 years after which all animals have to be returned. Feeding the giant pandas bamboo shoots can cost a whopping $500,000 to western countries every year. Since 1941, China has loaned 64 giant pandas to other countries.