Photo captures rare, all-white panda in Chinese nature reserve

A rare, all-white panda has been captured on camera for the first time, to the excitement of wildlife officials in China, the Associated Press reports. 

The Wolong National Nature Reserve in the country's Sichuan province released a photo last weekend of an albino panda walking through the forest. The mammal, which resembles a polar bear at first glance, sports red eyes in the image and does not have any black fur on its body, ears or around its eyes.

Photo: Wolong National Nature Reserve via Associated Press

The albino panda is estimated to be between a year and two years old based on its size, the reserve said. Its movement triggered a camera in early April, which immediately captured it. 

There are approximately 1,864 pandas that live in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. In recent years, China has increased the number of its reserves to 67, leaving about one-third of wild pandas unprotected. 

Aside from their fur color and sensitivity to light, albino pandas are not much different from those that the general population is accustomed to seeing, Li Sheng, a Peking University researcher, told the Associated Press. 

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