A play-by-play I am only marginally interested in: Panda Watch

 Okay. First off, I like giant pandas, I do. 

I mean, they are not among bowerbirds, geckos, sharks and the other animals that round out my top 10, nor are they even my favorite panda, that would be the red panda, BUT they are not in my bottom 10 either (looking at you dolphin), so I this means I like them.

I also respect that giant pandas are an endangered species, the zoo’s pandas are on loan from China (a loan which is set to expire) and many zoologists are invested in their reproduction. Fine. But just because I am rooting for Mei Xiang in theory, doesn’t mean I need a dramatic play by play of the action in practice. From today’s Post article:

“The frozen liquid is in two vials that have been placed in a paper cup beside two freezer packs in a battered Styrofoam box on which is written in black marker: “Return to Panda House.”The specimen, which has been sucked off the floor of the National Zoo’s Giant Panda compound with a plastic syringe, has just arrived by car at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. There, lab technician Sarah Putman pulls on her rubber gloves and prepares to analyze it. The precious liquid is panda urine

Come ON. a) sort of gross b) this isn’t an episode of 24. I am probably the largest advocate for nature-related programming I know, but making panda incemination into a docu-drama is bizarre and unnecessary. It also loses the message of why the zoo’s giant pandas and their captive reproduction is so important. So WaPo, I love you, but take they play by play down a notch. If you explain to people why they should care, they will care.

Okay okay, fine, you can keep the panda cam. It is super popular and brings interest to the zoo. Though, SPOILER ALERT, Mei Xiang today will roll around in her hay/branches, lay on her box, sleep and eat. Not dissimilar to the results you would find if you panda cam’d my dog, Maggie. So that’s it, busy day today but I will try to post again this afternoon.

(UPDATE: Apparently they found out this morning that Mei Xiang is not pregnant and now I feel like an ass for posting this. Sorry readers!)

One thought on “A play-by-play I am only marginally interested in: Panda Watch

  1. I had never even heard of Red Pandas before this post. A quick trip to wikipedia later, and I’m pretty sure they’re the most adorable thing ever.

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