29/12/2011 10:11 GMT

Panda Eats An Antelope: Chinese Bear Caught Eating Meat (PICTURE)

This picture of a panda eating an antelope will shock many who believed the black and white bears only ate bamboo.

Caught on an infra-red camera, this panda eating an antelope is a rare sight, as panda stomachs have evolved to digest the complex cellulose found in bamboo stalks.

However nature, ever red in tooth and claw, means that if pandas are hungry, they will eat meat. It’s unlikely that the panda stalked and killed his antelope snack though. In May, a panda was caught killing and eating a peacock at a zoo in China.

Although a panda's diet is 99% bamboo, they do belong to the species group Carnivora, or carnivores. They have to eat vast quantities of the hollow plant to gain enough energy and nutrition to survive.

Panda behaviour has evolved to cope with their weak bamboo diet, which is why they often appear to be slow, lumbering beasts. They avoid social interaction and energetic exploits in order to preserve strength.

The meat-eating panda was spotted in Ping Wu, in southwest China's Sichuan province, and it's not the only panda to make headlines this month.

Celebrity pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang, now on show at Edinburgh Zoo, are being kept in the hope that that they will breed and help propagate the endangered species.

Tian Tian aka “Sweetie” prompted a "panda gate" row after her monochrome face featured in the BBC’s faces of the year 2011: the women.

Twitter users was outraged that Sweetie sat alongside the “pioneering” female face of December in their round up of Women: Faces Of The Year 2011. However many tweeters took the list’s nomination lightheartedly with one of the users of the social networking site tweeting: