11
Mar 05

THE FT TOP 25 ANIMALS – 20. Pandas

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We love the underdog right? Nature doesn’t. The history of evolution (and one would imagine slightly less intelligent design creationism) is full of animals which did not quite make it. The dodo for example was a big stupid evolutionary backwater. What animal in nature at the moment is inhabiting the evolutionary ejector seat, what animal really has little time left.

Well if we left nature to its own devices it would clearly be the panda. Big, cuddly food fascist and sexual loser, the panda is the emblem of the World Wildlife Fund for a reason. Well two:
a) It is a big time endangered species
b) Awww, cute and cuddly wuddly.

The pandas I am most acquainted with* are not ones found in zoos. Rather they are the ones found in traveling funfairs, to be won on some sort of bunco booth game. A stuffed toy alternative to the definitely not endangered at all species of goldfish-in-a-bag. Well the individual goldfish are extremely endangered, but the species is much hardier than the rubbish panda. Mainly because it is a lot less picky about what it eats (sawdust), and has absolutely no problems in the sexual department. It is even unclear if pandas are bears or not. Sacred animal to the Chinese they may be, but they are stupid, lumbering lumps of cutesy slackerdom. Perhaps bamboo deforestation has not helped the humble panda, but this is not an animal which wants to help itself. The only reason pandas are still around is because they look good. But they are natures punching bag: that is a reason they have black eyes I guess.

*Not including police panda cars of course, he says in his wideboy gangster London patois.

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