This post was edited by angela627 at 2012-3-14 09:54|
By Amy Oliver
They spend most of their day eating bamboo and snoozing.
But as this young panda proves, there's still plenty of time for a spot of gymnastics despite the busy schedule.
Photographer Mitsuaki Iwago was able to capture the moment the bear hung upside down from a tree in a gymnastics display worthy of Olympic gold.
It then proceeded to stick its tongue out at stunned onlookers who were enjoying a day out at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China.
However, the cub then seemed to struggle to get itself upright after wedging its legs between the branches.
Look! No paws: This giant panda cub was snapped showing off its gymnastic skills at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China
Mr Iwago, 61, said: 'I was just visiting the panda enclosure because they are beautiful animals and I wanted to take some photos.
'The young cub wouldn't take its eyes off me, it was fascinated. Suddenly it went over to the tree and managed to flip upside down.
'It was looking at me the whole time and I got the feeling it was showing for the camera, as if saying "look what I can do."
'I think it was also having a joke because it stuck its tongue out at me, as if blowing a raspberry.
Tree hugger: The cheeky bear put on quite a show for stunned onlookers while enjoying itself at the nature reserve before going off to eat some more bamboo
'I was so pleased with the photos and afterwards I thanked the panda for giving me such a great show.'
Mr Iwago from Tokyo, Japan, added: 'I thought it was going to be just another visit to the zoo but I ended up with something very special.'
There are only around 1,300 pandas living today. 150 giant pandas reside at the Wolong reserve, which covers around 200,000 hectares in the Qionglai Mountains region.
The average giant panda eats as much as 20 to 30lbs of bamboo a day and an adult male can grow up to 6ft long. They can weigh up to 25 stone (350lbs).