I watched a movie with my kids today at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science called “Pandas: The Journey Home.” That’s when I decided that Panda Bears are really just a bunch of jerks.
Now, let me be clear about something. The movie itself is great and is packed with adorable panda-footage that had us saying “AWWWW” nonstop. About midway through though, I decided that panda bears are nature’s version of your fat uncle who refuses to get a job.
Yes, I understand that panda bears are on the verge of extinction and need our help but they have to pick up the slack at some point. Let’s start with their diet. They eat TONS of bamboo every day, and that’s ALL they eat despite the fact that it doesn’t have all the nutrients they need. It’s never occurred to them to try an apple or something?
Also, the ones who are born in captivity don’t fare well in the wild and it’s not for the reasons you think. We learned of one man who has devoted his life to rescuing and rehabbing panda bears. This guy spent years with one cub, preparing him to be released into the wild only to find him dead weeks later. They determined that he was attacked by a jaguar or probably OTHER PANDAS.
There is also this issue they have with procreating. The female panda is only fertile 2 DAYS out of the whole year. Despite this fact, male pandas have to be talked into mating with them. We watched as one captive female was introduced to a male, but he was such an idiot that she beat him up. An older, more experienced male was brought in but even HE had to be enticed by an apple on a stick.
Maybe I’m biased (since hours before I watched a video of a turtle loudly and gleefully getting-it-on with a shoe) but if you require an apple on a stick to have sex then you don’t deserve to be having it.
I know that humans feel responsible for pandas since WE are partially responsible for their demise, but animals die off every DAY and we don’t care. Why all the fuss over pandas?
I’ll tell you why. Because they’re cute. That’s why piles of cash is spent on breeding them and releasing them into the wild to be mugged by other pandas. That’s why grown men wear panda suits rubbed with panda poop, just to feed them MORE bamboo (they HAVE to wear the suits or the pandas will realize they’re humans and start following them around, probably asking for money or a ride to the mall).
I was ranting about this very subject to my kids, whom I assumed weren’t listening when the 6-year-old chimed in.
“Maybe that’s what happened to the dinosaurs Mom. Maybe they all died off because they just weren’t cute enough.”
She’s got a point. Yes, I know the logistics are all off but…that kid just might be onto something.
Too bad the dinosaurs didn’t have some of those poop-smeared-panda-suits. Maybe that would’ve made the difference.