Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Pity a Panda, Give it a Limb

i-1b01b5f9a14908d714e6c9f228a83a15-hurt panda.jpg I think I’ve just uncovered the saddest thing in the world: a panda who’s lost a limb and now has problems socializing. Cruel, cruel discriminative pandas. Why won’t you let Niu Niu in on your panda games? Admittedly, the loss of 2/3 of her limb (in a fight) has resulted in balance problems that might be perceived as less that attractive. But still, someone should tell those pandas that picking on the handicapped is *not cool.*

However, Chinese researchers are soliciting for kind-hearted engineers to design poor Niu Niu an artificial limb.

“Niu Niu’s spirits have lifted, the wound has healed and her appetite has basically recovered. But without her left paw, her loss of balance has directly affected her love life,” the paper said.

“The rescue center’s staff suddenly had a bold idea. If they could give Niu Niu an artificial limb, not only would that solve her walking and foraging for food, it would also enable her to mate.”

Staff were appealing to the world’s experts for suggestions and hoped to receive a plan for a “meticulously scientific” fake limb as soon as possible, the paper said.

So, you know, if you have some blueprints for an artificial panda limb laying around, send it to Beijing.

(Hat tip darkman.)


  1. #1 lba
    March 8, 2007

    Anyone up for studying phantom limb syndrome in pandas?

  2. #2 rod.
    March 8, 2007

    This shows that pandas can be as cruel and short-sighted as high-school kids at ostracizing those who are different.

    This is good news, as it raises high-school kids to the “super-panda” level, though lagging a bit behind the homo erectus in the evolution timeline…

  3. #3 ivan
    March 8, 2007

    Anyone up for studying phantom limb syndrome in pandas?

    I know a guy called Rama who is doing that kind of research.

  4. #4 drcharles
    March 8, 2007

    very sad. reminds me of a 20/20 episode i saw like 5 years ago where they videotaped a wounded dog. in the presence of other dogs and humans, the dog was very upbeat and projected confidence, when alone he sulked and looked terribly depressed. according to a rerun of 30 rock i watched tonight, men with hair make 17% more than bald men in similar positions. life is shallow.

  5. #5 rod.
    March 9, 2007

    The coolest social experiment with animals that I ever heard is when some guys decided to get monkeys drunk! You read it right! DRUNK MONKEYS!

    The purpose of the experiment was to see how similar the drinking habits of both species are! Amazingly similar, so it seems! I wonder if monkeys also suffer from the “beer goggles effect” 😉

  6. #6 derek
    March 9, 2007

    Cyberpanda! She could fight crime, and they could totally recoup the development costs by selling the rights to the anime series.

    drcharles, a paper I read years ago (Sally MacIntyre, “Social Correlates of Human Height”) found that in the British and Swedish civil services, taller men married earlier, earned more, were promoted faster, and topped out their promotion higher, than shorter men, and taller women did the same w.r.t. shorter women. Those high heels could be worth another few thousand a year in salary.

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