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Giant pandas reach breeding maturity between four and eight years of age. They may be reproductive until about age 20. Although females may give birth to two young, usually only one survives. Giant panda cubs may stay with their mothers for up to three years before striking out on their own. This means a wild female, at best, can produce young only every other year in her lifetime, she may successfully raise only five to eight cubs. The giant pandas’ naturally slow breeding rate prevents a population from recovering quickly from illegal hunting, habitat loss, and other human-related causes of mortality.