This Panda Gritting Its Teeth To Break Bamboo Is How All Of Us Look When We're At The Gym

Me trying to do just one pull-up.

Cover image via @ Panda 哒哒哒☀ (Douyin)

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Despite their cuddly appearance, pandas have powerful jaws and strong teeth adapted for grinding tough bamboo stalks

Most of the time, pandas use their mouth, nose, or the top of their head to snap a bamboo stalk in half.

Since they're born to break bamboos, the task comes easily to them, doing it effortlessly without much changes to their expressions.

But not for this one panda in China named Meng Er


Meng Er recently went viral on Douyin for gritting his teeth while breaking bamboo

However, the reason why he does that is actually quite bittersweet.

Meng Er was separated from his mother when he was a cub, and so, he was never taught how to break bamboo

He was raised under the care of zookeepers at Beijing Zoo, where Meng Er's upbringing included a unique lesson in bamboo-breaking.

They say bamboos bend but don't break. So, the act of breaking them requires significant force that comes more naturally to a panda than a human.

Every time the zookeeper tried to snap one in half, he would furrow his brow and grit his teeth in concentration.

Remarkably, Meng Er began to mimic not only the physical actions but also the subtle facial expressions of his caregiver. 

So cuteeeeee!

Watch a video of Meng Er's bamboo-breaking face here:

Netizens were amused by Meng Er's adorable expression

One netizen's heart melted upon seeing his expression.

"He really thinks he needs to show his teeth in order to break the bamboo," they said.

Image via Douyin

"He must really be exerting strength doing that, with the way he's baring his teeth," commented another netizen.

Image via Douyin

Meanwhile, one netizen offered a plausible explanation as to why Meng Er faces away from the bamboo whenever he's trying to snap it half.

"Not only did he have to show his teeth, but he always turns his head to one side because he's worried about making an unattractive face," they said.

Image via Douyin

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