Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doing it wrong

Pandas: Don't get me started on pandas. Now, I actually agree that humans should feel guilty about driving so many species to extinction, and we should do something about it. But we have to pick our battles. Millions of dollars and years of research have been spent trying to get reluctant pandas to breed in captivity. How many more-cooperative species could have been saved with that expense and effort?

But pandas have the power to cloud minds, and people go to absurd lengths for them. In China, they've even gone as far as to show pandas porn to encourage them to mate. And the latest report is that keepers are now dressing up in panda suits to work with cubs that are going to be released into the wild.

They claim that it's important that the cubs not get used to the sight of humans. Which could well be correct, but for this solution to work, we have to assume that pandas cannot tell the difference between another panda and a human in a panda suit:

1. By how it looks

2. By how it smells

3. By how it behaves, for example:

-picking up panda cubs and carrying them around in plastic containers (see above)

-taking its head off:

And if all this is true, seriously, should we really be knocking ourselves out to save an animal that is that dumb?

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