Monthly Archives: September 2009

*UPDATE* – Pandas To Go Extinct (Hopefully!)

It is often said that Animal Review leads and science follows.1 So it was unsurprising that acclaimed British nature host Chris Packham of the BBC has joined Animal Review in suggesting that it may well be past time for panda bears to collectively shuffle off this mortal coil.

Joining the rising tide of voices in the animal commentariat, Packham says, ‘Here’s a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It’s not a strong species.  Unfortunately it’s big and cute and it’s a symbol of the WWF, and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation.  I reckon we should pull the plug.  Let them go, with a degree of dignity.’   Animal Review agrees whole-heartedly, and if there is any sense in the communist government of China, they’ll see the wisdom in this policy as well.  Perhaps if it were somehow tied to putting lead in toys they’d get on board faster.   Maybe it could somehow involve suppressing political dissidents.  Diplomats should consider both.

Packham suggests that the piles of money poured into panda protection, panda conservation, panda breeding, panda houses, panda weekend getaways, and panda sailing trips to Bermuda instead be redirected to guarding the world’s biodiversity hot spots.  This is simple common sense, and while Animal Review would first like to get a look at what we’d be protecting in said hot spots before we all start protecting them too hard, letting pandas do what they so clearly desperately wish they could do – die out – is a fine plan indeed.2

So three cheers to Chris Packham for having the courage to say what pandas have been saying (through their refusal to mate) for what seems like forever.

1 Nobody says this.

2 Plus more bamboo for the rest of us. Visit for a glorious glimpse of a pandaless future.