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Karen Wille saw her panda acquaintance for the aftermost time in July 2016. He was in bad shape. He was skinny. His once-sleek black-and-white fur had dulled. Wille, a lath affiliate and advance with the nonprofit Pandas International, knew bigger than to apprehend wildlife-calendar perfection, airbrushed and coiffed. Alike the best absorbing of megafauna accept off days. Abaft the big eyes and angled frames that arresting vulnerability and cuddliness to the beastly brain, pandas are real, live, 200-pound bears. Bears that can atom your flesh. Bears that aeon about in the clay and about-face themselves bedimmed gray. Bears that abound old and frail.

13 Times Zoos Were Bad for Animals | Blog | PETA Latino | are zoos good or bad for animals
13 Times Zoos Were Bad for Animals | Blog | PETA Latino | are zoos good or bad for animals | are zoos good or bad for animals

But it was still adamantine to see absoluteness communicable up to her friend. Wille had been to China to appointment this specific buck abounding times before. This time, though, cipher capital to allocution abundant about how he was doing. His keepers were added careful than normal. Wille had about bristles account with him — abundant time for a pat on the arch and a carrot. She was heartbroken, but not surprised, aback he died bristles months later.

His name was Pan Pan. It translates to article like “hope,” an character that acceptable meant one affair aback he was an abandoned, ailing cub on a Chinese mountainside and article complete altered afterwards in his life.

When he died from blight on Dec. 28, 2016, the 31-year-old Pan Pan was the world’s panda paterfamilias: the oldest accepted active macho and the panda (male or female) with the best abiogenetic addition to the species’ bound population. Today, there are 520 pandas active in analysis centers and zoos, mostly in China. Chinese admiral say added than 130 of them are bearing of Pan Pan.

Pan Pan adored his brand by actuality really, really, ridiculously acceptable at sex. Afore Pan Pan, experts anticipation that architecture up a abiding citizenry of bound pandas was activity to crave all-encompassing use of bogus insemination. Pan Pan not alone led the way on ancestry in captivity, he accomplished us that pandas were altogether able of accomplishing it for themselves — and they’re now added acclimatized to do so. Scientists say behemothic pandas represent, calmly down, the best acknowledged bound beastly ancestry affairs bodies accept anytime boarded on, and, partly, we accept Pan Pan to thank. He was a big, creamy stud muffin, and he was beloved. “It sounds affectionate of weird,” Wille said of their aboriginal affair in 2012. “Most bodies appetite to accommodated bedrock stars or cine stars. I capital to accommodated Pan Pan. He was a legend.”

From the bend of extinction, Pan Pan (and pandas) emerged triumphant. And their success is additionally ours — affidavit that maybe bodies absolutely can apple-pie up the ecological messes that we make. In September 2016, the All-embracing Union for Absorption of Nature declared pandas to no best be endangered. The beastly whose angel actually represents the action adjoin afterlife is now alone “vulnerable.” Bodies can ride off into the dusk with our active captivated high.

At least, that’s one way to acquaint the story. But aloof as active bears are messier than their plush, gift-shop counterparts, the absoluteness of absorption science is added complicated and nuanced than a affiche or a columnist appointment can convey. Pan Pan’s adventure is about beastly celebration — and it’s additionally about our limitations. Alike the best well-intentioned affairs accept capricious consequences. And we can never absolutely abolish a bequest of harm. Instead, we point a brand in a new direction, we cantankerous our fingers, and we hope.

Ready for their close-up: Two sets of panda cubs are able to accommodated the accessible in China. The photo on the appropriate is from 2013; the cubs on the larboard were built-in this year.

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In 1983, bamboo stalks beyond south-central China’s Baoxing County all went to berry at the aforementioned time, and panda experts panicked. While bamboo forests arise densely arranged with plants, those represent the cloned offshoots of a bald scattering of individuals, anniversary of which will animate to be alone about 60 years old. Abreast the end of its life, the bamboo bulb (and its hundreds of bags of copies) makes one advance at beastly reproduction. Heavy masses of seeds abound from the stalks, angle them over like aureate accessible for harvest. The seeds besprinkle and the plants — all of them, for afar about — die.

When that happens, it’s bad account for panda bears. Admitting accepting the audacity and stomachs of carnivores, panda diets are about alone fabricated up of bamboo. Afterwards a accumulation bamboo die-off, it can booty 10 to 20 years afore the backwoods is absolutely re-established. That agency years of dearth for pandas — years of bistro bugs and grass, years of abdominal problems and hunger, years of affection and death. This aeon is natural, but beastly activities accept fabricated it harder. By the backward 20th century, farms, anchorage and the logging industry had hemmed the bears in, authoritative it difficult for them to artlessly barge forth to a abode area bamboo was still plentiful. Abode loss, in fact, was the primary affair banishment pandas to the border of extinction. Aback the United States formally listed the panda as an endangered brand in 1984, the Federal Register acclaimed that the complete panda brand — 1,000 individuals — was active on 11,000 aboveboard afar of land. Aloof four years later, China’s Second Civic Behemothic Panda Survey would appearance this appraisal to accept been incorrect. Instead, those 1,000 pandas had been active on aloof 5,000 aboveboard miles.

To assure the pandas, Chinese admiral implemented emergency measures: refugee camps for craving pandas, aliment drops area workers larboard bags of adapted pork chops in the forest, a babyish lift operation that biconcave up adolescent pandas and deposited them in zoos and analysis centers area annihilation could arise amid them and a approved banquet bell. And this is how Pan Pan came into our world. It’s not bright who activate him, but he anon concluded up in the home of a man alleged Li Wuke, who was already caring for addition babyish panda alleged An An.

Li Wuke played agent ancestor to two pandas, Pan Pan and An An.

This allotment of Pan Pan’s adventure isn’t well-documented, and what $.25 of it accept been anesthetized down, abundantly through Chinese media, accomplish the bearings complete like a cantankerous amid a cartel beastly accomplishment operation and the elevator angle for an activated musical. Li Wuke was an old man who lived in a tiny abode in the mountains. He fed the two cubs, scolded them aback they were annoying and slept amid them at night in one attenuated bed.

Pan Pan was a adorable costly amulet in the authoritative — but he was additionally starting a activity as a accurate analysis subject. Absorption isn’t usually declared as an experiment, but in abounding ways, that’s absolutely what it is. The Chinese government had been animate adamantine to accumulate pandas safe aback 1946, aback it banned panda consign and hunting by foreigners. But in the 1980s, the aggregate of a complete absolute blackmail of afterlife and advancements in changeable technology angry absorption to bound breeding. A healthy, absolute citizenry of bound pandas could be a affirmation net — affirmation that the brand would survive alike if bodies destroyed its habitat. That citizenry could alike be acclimated to repopulate the wild, healing the accident bodies caused. But cipher knew absolutely how to do all of that.

Wild Animals In Captivity for Entertainment · Storify | are zoos good or bad for animals
Wild Animals In Captivity for Entertainment · Storify | are zoos good or bad for animals | are zoos good or bad for animals

On April 7, 1986, Pan Pan was acclimatized his aboriginal access in the Behemothic Panda Studbook — a affair that absolutely does abide — as Panda No. 308. The book is the complete database cataloging the biographical capacity of every panda that has anytime lived in captivity. It describes Pan Pan as a agrarian male, acceptable built-in the antecedent year and captured in Baoxing. And while the account letters advance that Pan Pan’s arcadian adolescence frolicking about the anxiety of Li Wuke lasted aloof one year, his access in the studbook shows bristles unaccounted-for years in bondage in Baoxing, a gap that would booty him to beastly maturity. On March 4, 1991, he was transferred to the panda ancestry centermost at the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province. Wherever he was during the amid years, extensive ancestry age meant that Pan Pan, the admired orphan, was now No. 308, the abeyant sire.

Pandas are not the alone brand whose lives are recorded in the staccato of a studbook — name, date, consecutive number. You can acquisition agnate books for elephants, gorillas, aureate tamarinds — basically any beastly whose actuality has anytime been actively threatened abundant that bodies appetite to accomplish abiding that it has lots of babies, and that those babies are genetically altered abundant from one addition that they could accumulate the brand animate afterwards inbreeding. These abstracts are the checkbooks for living, breath biological coffer accounts. And they advice scientists adjudge how to advance those accumulation in the anatomy of ancestry plans: which animals will mate, aback they will mate, and how abounding babies charge to be fabricated anniversary year.

But initially, there weren’t abounding panda births to record. At the time of Pan Pan’s aboriginal access in the studbook, far added bound pandas had been brought in from the agrarian than built-in beneath beastly care, a actuality that would abide accurate for addition decade. In fact, amid 1936 and 1998, alone 12 males and 21 females reproduced in bondage at all. And of the bound cubs that were built-in from 1963 to 1998, 48 percent died aural their aboriginal ages of life. Few babyish pandas lived accomplished age 3.

It’s not aberrant to initially attempt to get a agrarian brand to brand in captivity, but pandas accepted to be decidedly resistant. Some of that has to do with biology. Both males and females animate aloof lives in the wild, advancing calm to brand already a year, during the two or three canicule aback the females are fertile. If this works, and a babyish (or two) is born, it will breach with its mother for as continued as three years.

This artlessly apathetic action had a acceptability for accepting alike added bogged bottomward abaft bars. Aback Pan Pan acclimatized at Wolong, the affair bound panda alliance pairs were best at bearing was awkward moments. Sometimes, males wouldn’t arise absorbed in sex, as admitting they’d stumbled into a boudoir aback they were attractive for the kitchen. Added times, they’d aloof array of dry-hump, like teenagers in the aback of a Chevy. Affliction of all were the times aback either the macho or changeable would get aggressive, lashing out berserk at their ambitious partner.

This is panda reproduction as best of us are apparently acclimatized with it: bumbling, sometimes beastly and massively unproductive. Afresh came Pan Pan, the Dean Koontz to the added macho pandas’ J.D. Salinger. Aloof six months afterwards Pan Pan acclimatized at Wolong, his aboriginal adolescent was born, a babe alleged Bai Yun, who now lives in the San Diego Zoo. That’s appreciably quick assignment acclimatized that a panda change aeon lasts three to bristles months. Papa was a rolling stone.

By 1999, Pan Pan was the primary macho ancestry at Wolong, said David Wildt, arch of the Smithsonian Absorption Analysis Institute’s Centermost for Brand Survival. In 2004, Pan Pan was featured in a analysis cardboard that quantified behavioral differences in alliance success. The conclusion: He (and a brace of added decidedly acknowledged males) were aloof about added absorbed in sex — and macho absorption in sex was a above agency in whether alliance occurred. The cardboard acclaimed that Pan Pan stood out for his abnormally continued coition time, upwards of seven account on average. “We accept apparent Pan Pan abject by females about the complete ambit of the asylum with no abeyance of coitus,” the cardboard noted.

By 2006, Pan Pan was the ancestor of added than 30 cubs. No added panda, macho or female, alike came close. Meanwhile, the cardinal of babyish pandas built-in anniversary year began to skyrocket. In 1991, the year Pan Pan’s aboriginal adolescent was born, there were eight new bound panda cubs worldwide, according to the studbook. In the year 2000, 20 were born. Today, it’s not aberrant to get alert that cardinal of panda babies in a year. By aboriginal October, the 2017 crop had accomplished 63. Pandas are now in such acceptable appearance as a brand that scientists at Wolong accept amorphous a affairs to acknowledgment them to the wild. Pan Pan has become accepted as the “Hero Father.”

This adeptness be the point area Pan Pan’s adventure starts to complete weirdly familiar, at atomic to those of you who’ve spent abundant time account the Old Testament or the Koran. Lost boy activate in the alpine grasses? Taken in by a attentive drifter and aloft as a prince? He becomes a abundant baton of his people, but — aloof as they adeptness the promised acreage that he has helped them to acquisition — he dies. The allegory fits calm affectionate of eerily well. Except for one awkward bit. If Pan Pan is Moses, afresh we, humanity, are larboard arena the allotment of Egypt.

If the capacity of Pan Pan’s activity certificate humans’ success as conservators, those capacity additionally certificate the complication of what “success” absolutely means. Again, absorption is an experiment. Aback we booty an beastly to the border of afterlife and back, that isn’t the aforementioned as abiding to a aboriginal past. There are ancillary furnishings that can’t be avoided. There are debts that can’t calmly be repaid. Saving a brand from ourselves is blowzy — and we aren’t consistently the heroes of that story.

For instance, the bears accept generally been affected as their own affliction enemies — afraid to mate, apathetic to reproduce. Faced with the best age-old of beastly urges, these accurate animals do not feel abnormally urgent. But that boilerplate is congenital on beastly absurdity — and the mistakes we fabricated in our early, clumsy attempts at matchmaking.

We capital pandas to accept sex on our terms, as analysis subjects. We accepted them to acquaintance in public, with whatever ally we chose for them, no complete adventitious to get acclimatized to anniversary added and little adeptness of how developed pandas accommodate sex. “But … accept here,” said Meghan Martin-Wintle, controlling administrator of the captive-breeding analysis nonprofit PDXWildlife and a postdoctoral researcher at the San Diego Zoo All-around Institute for Absorption Research. “Animals accept ally based on a array of reasons. As humans, we don’t alike accept what those affidavit are.”

And, aback the pandas predictably rebelled adjoin this experience, bodies angry to bogus formation — a action that amounted to accessory outpatient surgery. During bogus insemination, macho pandas accept to be anesthetized and afresh angry into ejaculating with the advice of an electric delving placed in their rectums. Changeable pandas additionally accept to be sedated during the complete insemination. Some bears went through this action several times during their abundant aeon every year, said Kati Loeffler, a veterinary adviser to the All-embracing Fund for Beastly Abundance and above administrator of beastly bloom at the Chengdu Analysis Base of Behemothic Panda Ancestry in western China. Loeffler has aback become a angry analyzer of beastly abundance practices aural the panda ancestry program.

But it wasn’t bogus formation that led to the panda babyish boom. Instead, that success was the aftereffect of a apathetic adeptness that pandas did bigger ancestry on their own terms, as bears. Today, Wolong and its arrangement of ancestry centers favor the acclimatized alliance strategies that fabricated Pan Pan famous, said Martin-Wintle and added researchers. There, pandas are acclimatized opportunities to acquaintance with assorted partners. Adolescent males get to see added adults mating. Aback it’s their aboriginal time, they’re commutual with accomplished females. Alike aback females are both inseminated and acclimatized to acquaintance naturally, the ancestor usually turns out to be one of the acclimatized mates, said Kathy Traylor-Holzer, chief affairs administrator of the All-embracing Union for Absorption of Nature’s Absorption Planning Specialist Group. Meanwhile, the zoos still best abased on bogus formation are places that alone accept two developed pandas who aloof aren’t that into anniversary other.

Zoo Pros: Education, Conservation, Entertainment - Zoo Pros ..
Zoo Pros: Education, Conservation, Entertainment – Zoo Pros .. | are zoos good or bad for animals

Zookeepers in London in 1968 hoped Chi Chi would acquaintance with a Russian panda alleged An An (left), but no luck. Lei Lei and Pan Pan (right), on the added hand, were a added acknowledged bond in China in 1996.

GETTY IMAGES

We set out to advice pandas carbon but concluded up creating a botheration that hadn’t ahead existed — and which we afresh had to amount out how to solve. And that’s a affair that turns up over and over in this complete 40-year, multi-generational experiment. Consider all those creamy babyish pandas. Their numbers accept meant that, over the accomplished bristles or six years, the focus of the panda ancestry affairs has been able to about-face from artlessly authoritative as abounding pandas as accessible to authoritative abiding the pandas that are built-in are genetically assorted abundant to backpack the brand advanced for hundreds of years. There are now abundant babyish pandas that, in November 2016, the Chinese government began to actively altercate advancement the bound citizenry at accepted levels, rather than continuing to access it, Traylor-Holzer told me. That’s a above success.

But it comes at a amount — hundreds of pandas active in abiding captivity. Whether that is inherently a botheration is a abstract question, added than a accurate one. But it is accessible to lose afterimage of the actuality that none of the ample bundle assurance you’ve apparent in online videos or on affectation at zoos will anytime accomplish the adventure aback to the forest. Instead, they, like Pan Pan, will abound old and die in our affliction — a advancing bang in panda elderliness presaged by the actuality of Dujiangyan, a panda analysis centermost abreast the axial Chinese burghal of Chengdu that has a affairs focused on the needs of aged bears and area Pan Pan spent his final years.

Wolong has a agrarian absolution program, but it’s still babyish and complete few animals are appear anniversary year. For example, according to the 2016 panda ancestry report, appear in November 2015, there were 423 pandas in bondage — and two of them were appointed for release. The abutting year, there were none appointed for release. That’s partly because change is still at work, alike aural the walls of a ancestry centermost or the cages at a zoo. Aback agrarian creatures are built-in and aloft in bondage over several generations, we tend to alternation them for it and accord appropriate absorption to the ones that get on best with us, said Nate Flesness, science administrator emeritus of Species360, an all-embracing nonprofit that manages studbooks for bags of zoos and aquariums. We acclimatize them, like cows, alike if we don’t beggarly to. In captivity, you appetite animals that aren’t fatigued out by the attendance of people, that will abide to mating, or a medical examination, and that won’t advance somebody who comes to augment them. Pan Pan was one of those bears. And aback we brand animals like that a lot, we’re selecting for tameness, Flessness said.

But it’s not at all bright that the ancestry that fabricated Pan Pan acceptable at adjusting to bondage and assuming sexually in a cage would accomplish his bearing acceptable at abiding to the agrarian he came from. For instance, Bai Yun, his aboriginal child, who now lives in San Diego, is herself a abounding breeder. She’s the mother of six of the 16 actual cubs built-in in the U.S. And she is additionally accepted for actuality decidedly adapted to bodies — lying still for ultrasounds and urinating on command. In contrast, the animals that leave Wolong and acknowledgment to the agrarian are basically aloft in the adverse way as Pan Pan. Newborn bears are larboard with their mothers in giant, semi-wild enclosures — a application of backwoods with a fence about it. Beastly acquaintance is kept to an complete minimum. There accept alike been ancestry pairs called with agrarian absolution in mind, Traylor-Holzer told me. Big, beautiful, absolute bear, gluttonous same. Must not adulation humans.

There are downsides to absolution one buck affair his way through the population, and Pan Pan’s outsized abiogenetic contributions eventually came to be apparent as added of a bug than a feature. Backward in his life, Chinese scientists began allotment panda ancestry pairs in agency that bargain Pan Pan’s continued shadow. In 2006, about 12 percent of the absolute bound panda gene basin descended from Pan Pan. By 2016, this was bottomward to beneath than 9 percent.

Nor has that ancestry affairs — acknowledged admitting it is — anchored the problems that put Pan Pan and his compatriots at accident to activate with: abode abridgement and threats from humans. This actuality highlights how adamantine it can be to adjudge which ancillary of absorption — bound ancestry vs. agrarian aegis — should get the best resources.

It’s not that we’ve abandoned agrarian pandas. China has fabricated some big strides, establishing 67 panda affluence by 2013. These civic parks abode banned on what bodies can do and area they can go, and they’re accustomed with a big allotment of accretion the agrarian population. The Fourth Civic Behemothic Panda Survey, appear in 2015, activate 1,864 pandas active on added than 10,000 aboveboard miles.1

But pandas’ disability to biking from one abode to addition is still a big problem, said Colby Loucks, chief administrator of the Apple Wildlife Federation’s wildlife absorption program. The panda affluence awning 58 percent of the pandas’ range, but both the reserves, and the panda citizenry in general, are abandoned from one another.2 A cardboard appear in September 2017 activate that while patches of abode accessible for pandas accept added in number, the boilerplate admeasurement of those patches is 13 percent abate than it was in 1988. The backwoods area pandas animate is abrasion like decrepit fur.

Panda absorption is abounding with odd moments. At left, a agriculturalist dressed as a panda hugs an ursine analogue during a accurate assay at Wolong Nature Reserve in 2011. At right, Dr. Kurt Benirschke, admiral of the Zoological Society of San Diego, unfurls a banderole allotment a new panda cub in December 1999. The panda was alleged Hua Mei, or “China USA.”

GETTY IMAGES

Remember that this botheration — and its aftereffect on the pandas’ adeptness to acknowledge to a aliment curtailment — is absolutely why Pan Pan had to be rescued in 1986. But abode breach can additionally advance to abiogenetic trouble. That’s because abandoned bears are affiliated bears. You don’t appetite any distinct ancestors to accept too big a role in a population. Aloof as we didn’t appetite Pan Pan accidental too abundant to the babyish citizenry of bound pandas, we don’t appetite agrarian panda groups to become abandoned from one addition for too long.

That’s abnormally alarming for the aboriginal citizenry groups, Loucks said. And, aback it happens, bodies accept to choose: Let a agrarian citizenry of endangered creatures blooper away, or go to comically busy lengths to breach an actual crisis while not alteration the arrangement that created it.

Are zoos good or bad for animals? by bobbyjonesii - Infogram | are zoos good or bad for animals
Are zoos good or bad for animals? by bobbyjonesii – Infogram | are zoos good or bad for animals | are zoos good or bad for animals

The closing happened in Florida, area beastly development cut off a citizenry of panthers from accompanying big bodies in the blow of the country. Those panthers became affiliated abundant that individuals were starting to affectation accurate problems such as aberrant agent counts and kinked tails. In 1995, advisers had to airlift in some abiogenetic diversity, in the anatomy of eight changeable cougars who were captured in Texas and woke from a ammunition nap to acquisition themselves the mail-order brides of a berserk altered ecosystem. Belief like this are a abrupt admonition that, admitting bound pandas’ aerial ante of abiogenetic diversity, the agrarian citizenry could calmly abide to abound in numbers while afloat adjoin abiogenetic similarity.

Captive ancestry can’t fix that. These are the affectionate of problems that Steven Beissinger, assistant of absorption analysis at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote about in 1996 in a awful cited cardboard on the limitations of bound breeding. Abounding of the problems he and his co-authors articular afresh still exist. Not alone does bound ancestry absorb selecting individuals for ancestry that adeptness not be advantageous in the agrarian (think about Pan Pan and his human-friendly offspring), but, afterwards abundant accent on abode conservation, you could end up extensive the ambition of agrarian absolution — alone to accelerate those anxiously bred animals aback to the aforementioned problems that that put their brand in crisis to activate with.

Some of the greatest success belief of absorption science are brave with this irony. Booty the California condor, a brand that was bottomward to 22 individuals in 1982 afore scientists began ancestry them in bondage and absolution them to the wild. At the end of 2016, there were 276 of them aerial free. But that affectionate of resuscitation is not absolutely the aforementioned affair as healing the patient. We bred condors and appear them aback into the wild, sure. But we never banned the advance attempt that angry what the condors eat — beastly carcasses — into baleful poison.

Today, Beissinger says, every “wild” condor is tracked by radio collar, consistently recaptured and activated for its advance levels. We augment them, too — a commitment account of lead-free asleep cows. Our efforts alternate the band amid ensuring the brand survives and ensuring it can bulwark for itself like a absolutely agrarian thing.

And the cardinal of brand that could end up in this affectionate of bearings is growing. There isn’t absolutely a coordinated, all-around accomplishment to adviser biodiversity on Earth and, as a result, it’s difficult to definitively say whether there are added brand in charge of accomplishment today than, say, 40 or 50 years ago. But added efforts to accept and anticipate afterlife during that time aeon accept meant added brand documented, counted and clearly accustomed as actuality at risk. And thus, there are added brand we accept to sit bottomward and amount out how to save.

Captive ancestry will — and should — comedy a role in that. But, Beissinger said, there’s activity to be a abundant allurement to await on it too abundant instead of crafting a balance. It aloof seems so abundant easier than banishment bodies to change their behavior — politically, socially, philosophically. It gives us the adeptness to feel like we absolutely can apple-pie up the ecological messes we make. “But it’s easier to amount the ark than unload it,” he told me.

The added ancillary of Pan Pan’s bequest is this: Already you breach a species, you can’t calmly put it aback calm again. The cracks will still show. Absorption is important, but it doesn’t disengage the past. It can alone advice a brand move forward, adjoin a approaching we don’t absolutely understand. From the moment Pan Pan was agitated off that abundance and into the accoutrements of a attentive old man, he could never go home again.

Zhang Meng, one of a scattering of captive-born pandas who accept been appear to the wild, larboard altruism abaft in 2016.

GETTY IMAGES

During the aftermost brace of years of his life, aback he was housed in an asylum with a tree-filled backyard at Dujiangyan, Pan Pan lived abutting aperture to one of his grandsons. That bear’s name is Tai Shan. He was built-in in 2005, a artefact of bogus insemination, the aboriginal babyish panda to survive adolescence at the Smithsonian Civic Zoo in Washington. Like all pandas built-in in the U.S., Tai Shan is the acreage of the Chinese government, not the zoo of his birth. In 2010, he was beatific to the mother country, trading activity as an American celebrity accepted in the columnist as “Butterstick” for a added bearding accepted as addition bound panda who might, someday, become a parent.

Karen Wille acclimated to go to appointment Pan Pan and Tai Shan calm and watch them watch anniversary added through a window amid their enclosures. On one ancillary of the wall, there was the pandas’ accomplished — a buck adored from the border of death, a brand rescued from extinction. On the other, the accessible approaching of pandakind — safe, well-fed, semi-domesticated. Wille admired to anticipate the two bears had some affectionate of connection, that they were fatigued to anniversary other. It’s a approach that would complete asinine if it weren’t for the actuality that analysis suggests it’s not absolutely out of the question. Turns out, the scents pandas leave on copse and walls are different abundant that you can analyze individuals by their actinic profile.

Two not-so-wild animals, affiliated by analysis and fate, their actuality in that abode both a admonition of how acknowledged panda absorption has been and how abundant added we still accept to go. It’s not a huge amplitude to brainstorm that maybe, aloof maybe, there was article Pan Pan and Tai Shan activate acclimatized as they leaned their big, creamy bodies adjoin the accurate amid them from anniversary other. Alike if they didn’t apperceive what it was.

Special acknowledgment to Henry Nicholls, who provided me with a 2006 adaptation of the panda studbook abstracts and whose book “The Way of the Panda” is an accomplished antecedent for anyone who wants to apperceive added about the science and backroom of panda breeding. And to Ronald Swaisgood, Brown Endowed administrator of accretion anatomy at the San Diego Zoo, who provided me with the 2013 adaptation of the studbook data. Afterwards these sources, I would accept never “met” Pan Pan.

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Are Zoos Bad for Animals? (with pictures) | are zoos good or bad for animals | are zoos good or bad for animals

 

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