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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pandas, Chris Packham, & Economics

It's amazing that pandas are even still around. Consider:

1) They reproduce slowly- a female is fertile for only a few days each year and usually only gives birth to one cub.

2) They eat almost nothing except bamboo, which has little nutrition for pandas.

One natural disaster could have wiped these guys out ages ago.

In the words of conservationist Chris Packham: "The panda is, unfortunately, virtually unsavable. It lives in the most overpopulated country in the world, it feeds on plants when it ought to be eating partially meat, it transfers all sorts of nasty diseases among itself, it tastes nice and it's got a coat that looks good on someone's back."

Bummer, although I disagree with the part about China being overpopulated. My cursory research indicates it has about the same population density as Florida.

Other Packham comments:

“You can’t release them back into the wild if there is no wild left and we shouldn’t rear animals just to put them into cages."

Why not? We do it with chickens. What's wrong with breeding pandas because they're fun to look at?

“Where are you going to release them? I don’t think tigers are going to last another 15 years. How can you conserve an animal that’s worth more dead than alive? You can’t.”

If you let people own them, they'll always be around.

Here, watch this:

 

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