Zoolologists worldwide have gone to a lot of trouble in recent years to ensure the survival of a rare and beautiful species. But, a couple of new projects make you wonder whether or not the zoo keepers have wee bit too much time on their hands…. China is still building a breeding “base” for giant pandas in another effort to save the endangered species from extinction. Wang (do not go there), the director, said that the base will contribute more to the research and breeding of giant pandas as well as to their training before their release in the wild. Males are rehearsed in panda pick-up lines and taught to smoke before being let go and a reunion is planned for sometime in 2006. Giant pandas are notoriously unproductive. There are only about 1,500 of the much-loved black and white creatures left in the wild in China’s the giant pandas living in the Qinling have been separated geographically for 50,000 years from those in Sichuan, experts said. “The giant pandas in Qinling is a more endangered sub-species of giant pandas,” the official said. I think I had him in one of my oral English classes. A recent survey indicated that the number of giant pandas roaming in the wild of Shaanxi has reached 340 thanks to effective protection measures. THE ONE DAY YOU GET OFF YOUR HIDE AND WE HAVE PAPARAZZI The cake-taker though comes from Thailand: According to National Geographic A Thai zoo is hoping that “panda pornography” will spark romance between its two giant pandas, which were married by proxy (monkeys stood in for them?) last November in an elaborate Chinese-style ceremony. “Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui have called Thailand’s Chiang Mai Zoo home for the past four years. Zoo officials had hoped that the warm Thai climate would spark the pandas’ hormones and trigger their desire to mate. Instead they are insisting to go to dance bars and the beach. But the animals, on loan from China for ten years, have yet to start a family. A first mating attempt earlier this year failed to produce offspring, and the pandas have remained platonic pals (But, the male doesn’t call or write or anything laments the female) since then—prompting officials to launch their unique plan.” Maybe one of them is just really ugly, or has a unacceptably colorful panda past? “They don’t know how to mate, so we need to show the male how through videos,” project chief Prasertsak Buntrakoonpoontawee (If you can say that three times REALLY fast I will send you the centerfold from the 2007 Panda Babes Calendar)t told the Reuters news service. Chuang Chuang, the six-year-old male, will view films of other mating pandas when scientists judge him to be relaxed and receptive—perhaps just after a tasty dinner. “If all goes well, the racy video will be both instructional and inspirational, showing Chuang Chuang the reproductive ropes and causing him to see five-year-old Lin Hui in an entirely different light. “Ya, but don’t pandas gain like 40 or 50 kilos on TV? The story goes on to say, their solitary nature could mean that even some wild animals are unsure of themselves with the opposite sex.

I think that maybe they just want a bit of privacy.

by Lonnie Hodge at OMBW

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