The giant panda (or colloquially known as just panda) is the rarest bear species in the world and is endemic to China. In ancient China, they were considered noble creatures that would hurt neither man nor beast due to their slow-motion. Their signature black and white fur is also seen to be the physical manifestation of the yin-yang principle - where perfect balance leads to ulimate peace and harmony. They are also naturally solitary animals and avoid each other by communicating using vocalization and scent markings, only gathering during mating season.
Due to being the personification of peace, China used pandas as diplomatic gifts in the mid 20th century. The World Widelife Fund also adopted the panda in its logo after being inspired by Chi Chi, a panda transfered from Beijing to London in 1958. The panda's strong recognisability which overcomes all language barriers and its then endangered nature helped push for more conservation effect globally.
Panda mothers give birth to twins in about half of all pregnancies. Unfortunately, the mother will select the stronger of the two to nurture and leave the weaker to die due to starvation. The mother is thought to be unable to produce enough milk for more cubs as pandas do not store much fat similar to other non-hibernating bears. However, the mother raises the cub for around 1.5 years (about 5-10% of its lifespan) after which the cub will then become independent and solitary.
In the new Spring 2023 Lladró sculpture Mommy Panda, the scene of a mother panda lifting her cub up captures that fleeting loving moment of motherhood that we often take for granted. This peaceful moment is eternalized in matt black and white porcelain to accentuate the textured fur markings over their bodies.