I recently watched a documentary on the life of a panda in captivity. Zookeepers and scientists all agree that pandas must not become attached to humans. They must also learn that humans will not provide them with food. A way to combat this in a sanctuary or in a zoo, is zookeepers will put on panda costumes before meeting the bears. I urge you to look up the National Geographic documentary where scientists wear costumes. The people look like they are about to rob a bank and it’s hilarious.
There are so many other adorable and strange facts about pandas. The collective noun for a group of pandas is either an embarrassment of pandas or a cupboard of pandas. They always appear clumsy, and videos often show them rolling down hills or into zookeepers’ legs. I am positive everyone has seen a video showing a baby panda rolling around in the grass. Pandas have a soft, cuddly power over people.
What many people do not realize is pandas are no longer on the endangered species list. Sometime in 2020 the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the organization in charge of keeping track of extinct, endangered and vulnerable species, announced pandas are no longer endangered. They have changed the status of giant pandas to vulnerable.
Despite being taken off the endangered species list, the giant panda’s population must still be watched. Their role in the world is vital to the protection of bamboo forests and other animal species.
Giant pandas are helping to spread the seeds in China’s bamboo forests as well as help vegetation grow. The growth and safety of these forests help other species of animals like the dwarf blue sheep and the snub-nosed monkey.
The panda’s habitat is not important to just the other animals. The forests are important for local communities who use it for food, income, fuel and medicine. It is a resource used by countless people.
Of course, pandas are also the World Wildlife Organization’s (WWO) logo and need to be taken care of so they can remain the WWO’s spokes animal.
Protecting pandas helps to guard the broader environment as well as the people and animals who depend on the bamboo forests. I believe people are more willing to help if they believe pandas are at risk, so why not take advantage of people’s desire to help the adorable omnivore.
Protecting giant pandas, the bamboo forests and other at-risk species is not just about the environment, it’s the right thing to do. Humans are the ones who have messed up the world so much that animals and environments are becoming extinct. Protecting animals and habitats is the least humans can do after hurting them so much.