The Thoughtful Animal

New-born twin giant pandas made their media debut at a zoo in Japan on Friday. The twins, one male and one female, were born on August 11 to mother Rauhin and father Eimei, by artificial insemination. (video via BBC News)

Comments

  1. #1 徵信社
    September 7, 2010

    I have never seen a real panda before (does TV count?:P) but they are sooooo adorable!! Thanks for posting!

  2. #2 John
    September 7, 2010

    Little head bangers aren’t they!

  3. #3 bo moore
    September 8, 2010

    I hate to bring this up, but feel I must. Why are zoos / scientists / nations spending MILLIONS of dollars to “save” a species that is doomed? The fact that they are CUTE is hardly a good excuse. Pandas are doomed because their diet is restricted to bamboo, which is piss-poor nutrition. They must eat 24 hours a day, and their reproduction rate is extremely poor. If we are going to dish out research and funds on the basis of cuteness, then only Paris Hilton, Hanna Montana, and Barbie dolls will survive.

  4. #4 Tenebras
    September 11, 2010

    @3 Concern troll is concerned.

    FYI, they weren’t doomed until WE came along and doomed them, any more than any species is “doomed”. That’s why people are fighting to save them. Because it’s our damn fault they’re in the predicament they’re in, and SOME of us are actually responsible enough to want to fix our mistakes instead of shrugging our shoulders and going “oh well!” like you are. Lazy, irresponsible humans like you make me wish I wasn’t a member of this destructive, disgusting species.

  5. #5 harold
    September 13, 2010

    I hate to bring this up, but feel I must. Why are zoos / scientists / nations spending MILLIONS of dollars to “save” a species that is doomed?

    The question answers itself. If they are trying to save the species, they must think it can be saved, and hence, they must not agree with your omniscient pronouncement that the species is doomed. In fact, the evidence tends to support the opposite conclusion.

    There are two general motivations for any type of environmental conservation. One is merely self-preservation – excessive damage to the common environment could impact physically on human life. The other is to some degree aesthetic – a desire to maintain aspects of the common environment which are seen as maginificent, scenic, etc. For me, both are valid motivations.

    Having said that, both are also grounded in subjective evaluations. For example, someone who doesn’t think that human life is of any value might not think that human self-preservation is of any value.

    The fact that they are CUTE is hardly a good excuse.

    Others do have the right to attempt to save any species they wish, for whatever motivation they may have.

    Pandas are doomed because their diet is restricted to bamboo, which is piss-poor nutrition. They must eat 24 hours a day, and their reproduction rate is extremely poor.

    However, pandas are not endangered mainly because of these particular traits, but rather, mainly because of human activity.

    It is the height of silliness to anthropomorphize pandas and then criticize (or praise) them according to subjective human judgments about their diet or anything else. Having said that, although bamboo is not calorie-dense, it is extremely widely available. Pandas evolved adaptations that allow them to exploit one of the most prevelant resources in their natural environment.

    If we are going to dish out research and funds on the basis of cuteness,

    It is a valid point that humans may be inclined to excessively prioritize the well-being of other large mammalian species, or of bird species, when engaged in conservation. Having said that, these large species may sometimes be good barometers for the health of an ecosystem overall.

    At the end of the day, it is not up to you whether others choose to attempt to preserve the panda species.

  6. #6 abadidea
    September 17, 2010

    @3

    Pandas invoke joy, hope, laughter, and love in ordinary human beings, especially children.

    All ecological concerns aside, why would you say that allowing one of the most singly beloved species in the history of the world- right after cats and dogs and bunnies- to leave us forever, so that no-one will EVER see a panda again, is the ideal reaction?

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