Long ago pandas were pure white. Chinese legend tells how the panda got its black and white coat. The ancient tale tells of a young girl who gave her life to save a snowy-white panda cub. The pandas were very sad and rubbed black ashes on their legs as a sign of mourning. They wiped their eyes, hugged each other and covered their ears with their paws. Wherever they touched themselves the ashes stained their fur black.