Officials at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in the Sichuan region of China are reporting that recent footage from a surveillance camera has captured an image of the first-ever reported albino Panda bear.
The People's Daily, "the largest newspaper group in China," reports that scientists believe the panda is healthy despite its genetic mutation, which China Daily suggests could result in other complications or difficulties.
Though, the Reserve website notes, albinism "does not affect the normal body structure and physiological functions of the animal."
The panda is probably between one and two years old. Officials are now preparing to deploy other cameras to spot and possibly track the rare bear. The mutation is recessive and thus must also have been present in both of its parents.
The presence of this panda "[indicates]that there is a 'whitening' mutant gene in the giant panda population in Wolong,"the Wolong Reserve states on its website.
"In the giant panda population of Wolong, whether the albino mutant gene will be further transmitted will also need to be observed through continuous field monitoring in the protected area."
The People's Daily posted a photo of the panda to its Twitter account. The photo is also posted to the Wolong Nature Reserve website, which is only in Mandarin.
You are looking at the first-ever photo of a WHITE giant panda in the world. This #panda was spotted by a surveilla… https://t.co/C49h0LJhNk— People's Daily, China (@People's Daily, China) 1558773770.0
The Reserve is also home to the Panda Center at Gengda, "a research and breeding center" within the park, part of the UNESCO Reserve Network, according to Pandas International.
For more information on the albino panda, refer to the China Daily article on its discovery here.
For more information on the Wolong National Nature Reserve and panda conservation, see the Panda International web page here.
More information on the albino panda in Sichaun is sure to come. Stay tuned.