Xi Yue, A Legend of Qinling Mountain

Yong Yange (1st person from left) was taking photo for Xi Yue with his team

I learned Xi Yue from this article. He's a wild panda rarely known to the outside world. Enjoy the good read.


Xi Yue (Joy) was a wild giant panda found in Qinling Mountain. 10 years ago, Xi Yue was a young boy, and he met human in the forest. For now, Xi Yue lives at the wild of Sanguan temple, Shaanxi province, China. There are some amazing stories between Xi Yue and human.

It is well known that giant pandas spend most of time eating and sleeping. Bamboo is the most important food for giant pandas. They spend at least 12 hours each day eating bamboo. Because bamboo is so low in nutrients, pandas eat a lot of it daily. This is why visitors always see pandas eating or sleeping in the zoo. Xi Yue was as same as other pandas on habitat and diet. Here are some amazing stories about Xi Yue.

The giant panda moves around the mountains according to different seasons in the wild. As a wild panda, Xi Yue was able to settle down in the forest and mate with other pandas. The average lifespan of wild giant panda is about 20 years, while the longest lifespan of the giant panda raised in captivity is 37 years old. Xi Yue was an elder panda since the first time he was found. 

The habitat of Xi Yue was around Sanguan temple, where he lived a wonderful life. Lots of visitors came to the mountain to meet the panda Xi Yue, and someone were lucky to meet the panda and shared some beautiful memories with him. However, someone missed him by looking for the panda all around the mountain.

The stories of Xi Yue: 

1st Story 

At that time, if you met a giant panda in the wild around Sanguan temple with camouflage, then gently called him: kitten! kitten! This giant panda would come to you slowly, and he was Xi Yue. At Foping nature reserve, it was available only for lucky ones to meet the panda.

Xi Yue

For the animals in the wild, when humans enter animals’ territory, animals will leave the territory or warn the trespasser to leave. While, Xi Yue was different from other animals. He would not go away when he heard human’s talking, and he didn’t refuse the people, who worn camouflage, to get close to him. Xi Yue was very popular by taking some bamboo shoot from the human when met in the forest. People loved the way that Xi Yue ate bamboo, and they became the fans of him.

In March 2014, I met Xi Yue for the first time. I called him “kitten” but he kept eating without respond. I guess the eating was more important than talking to me. 10 minutes later, it seemed that Xi Yue had enough bamboo and he kept walking to the path instead of returning to the bush. The panda marked all the way, and he keep looking back at me. The way he walked was just like a model walking on T-stage, which impressed me a lot. 

2nd Story 

When I first met Xi Yue, I thought he was just a young panda. But he actually is a strong giant panda. He always wins the fights to other male pandas. He is very popular among the female pandas.

Xi Yue

Xi Yue was the strongest panda I have ever met in the wild. In 2013, Xi Yue's left canine was knocked out in a fight for the right of mating. What surprised everyone was that he let people to treat his wound without attacking. The man who treated Xi Yue was Dr. Jin Yipeng, a professor of China Agricultural University.

The researchers would find Xi Yue and checked his body from the mountains, and he was willing to do all of this. Xi Yue grown so strong and was able to defeat opponents to take mating rights, which is might due to the physical check. Xi Yue was famous for his good looking and strong body. 

3rd Story 

In April 2010, Xi Yue won the right of mating, and he mated with a female in the wild. The female climbed the tree after mating with Xi Yue. While, Xi Yue just guarded his lover under the tree, and he was afraid that some other males would come to the female. Liang Qihui, a photographer of wildlife, who was so lucky to met Xi Yue and his lover by accident. However, Xi Yue noted that Liang was watching him, and the panda was annoyed. Suddenly, Xi Yue stood up from the ground and ran after Liang. Liang was scared and ran away by jumping off the hillside. Maybe Xi Yue knew that Liang was weak and not the enemy. Xi Yue did not chase Liang anymore, and he went back to his lover. 

In March 2014, Yong Yangge, a panda expert, who met Xi Yue again. It’s the mating season of giant pandas, and Xi Yue was fighting for his lover with other male pandas. Yong and his team were the audience of this competition. Xi Yue punched Yong on his chest when he found the humans around, and Yong’s jacket was tore into pieces. Then, Yong came up to an idea by calling him “kitten”! Xi Yue found Yong’s not a competitor, he left Yong and his team and ran after other male pandas. 

Xi Yue

On November 11, 2014, a giant panda was spotted by villagers gnawing antelope legs. It was confirmed that this giant panda was Xi Yue. I have seen animal bone residues in the feces of giant pandas, but this was the first time I have seen giant pandas eat meat.

Xi Yue and a female panda

4th Story 

As he grown older, Xi Yue was more cautious when fighting for mating rights. He took advantage of the geographical conditions, seized opportunities that were beneficial to him, and became more wise.

In the spring of 2015, Xi Yue followed a female with several male pandas. Unfortunately, Xi Yue was failed to win the female’s heart by losing the opportunity to beat other males.

In 2017, even though Xi Yue defeated other male pandas, he was not favored by the female and lost the opportunity to mate again. He kept fighting with other for the right of mate.

In the spring of 2018, the senior Xi Yue appeared in the fight of mating. Xi Yue was found following a young female panda. However, it seemed that the young panda would like to mate with a young male instead of the elderly Xi Yue, and the female hidden herself into a cave.  

5th Story 

In 2019, Xi Yue was wounded by fighting with other males, and his right leg was injured. Xi Yue was no longer a vigorous giant panda waling in the forest, but a disabled elderly panda. However, Xi Yue is not an ordinary panda. He did not give up for fighting right to mate. He continued to persist in his territory and live tenaciously.

In 2020 Spring, Xi Yue was found in the fight for mating rights again! He broke the record of the mating age of giant pandas. It gave us more hopes on reproduction of the giant panda population in Foping. However, Xi Yue was injured again in the fight and did not win mating rights like last year.

Xi Yue is a legend with his amazing life! 

Resorce: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/H89E-uu5obrXh6lj025z1Q

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