Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stick Love: Maybe that is why they’re endangered
I have a suspicion that all the stories about Pandas being endangered because of a reduction in their natural habitat might be a bunch of noise.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I watched this special on the Animal Planet (I love Ti’fauxing stuff on Sundays at 3 AM) called “A Panda is Born.” Basically the show was about the “love” story that resulted in Butterstick’s birth. (BTW, if you think KFed is a bad daddy, you should see fat Tian Tian parked in the air conditioned Panda Grotto.)

Fun facts from the program: Apparently pandas are in their mating season for a few days a year – and females ovulate for just a few hours. That’s right – the pandas basically have one chance to get it right. And the pandas aren’t very good at the mating part (I guess this special crossed over into panda porn, but it was on after 11 PM).

So they have the deck stacked against them – so to speak – because getting pregnant the old-fashioned way is very difficult.

Thanks to the miracles of science – the Chinese panda teams have been very successful. Their breeding program because they inseminate the females in addition to traditional mating. The American team at the National Zoo went for a hands-off approach. Eventually the Americans came around to the Chinese way of thinking – after they visited the baby panda day camp and were mobbed by a dozen adorable baby pandas looking for snacks.

So now we have some baby pandas in America and I have learned way more about panda sex than I ever wanted. All I wanted was to see adorable Butterstick.

And all I got was this stupid t-shirt.


Blogger Alison Rose said...

I'm always amused at the whole "adorable panda" thing. They are cute, but when I lived in Northern Virginia and frequented the National Zoo (yes, I was a FONZ--Friend of the National Zoo), the keepers always told us that the pandas were the most dangerous animals in the place. Territorial to the max. So never turn your back on an adult panda--even if it is darn cute!

Glad they got the breeding program going, though.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

I'm sure giving them names like "Butterstick" doesn't exactly help either when it comes time reproduce.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Makes you think that maybe pandas aren't supposed to "make it" as a species if it's so damn hard for them to reproduce. Too bad humans aren't the same way - we'd have a lot fewer idiots.

6:38 PM  

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