Everybody appears to be Wild About Pandas

Published February 15, 2012

The BBC aired a documentary about the new panda couple at Edinburgh Zoo, covering why and how they arrived at their new home, how their handlers were trained up, and what the zoo expects from the happy pair. Naturally, I was their target audience, and although there was nothing groundbreaking in there, it was a cute way to spend an hour or so.

Here are my notes, although, again, nothing we don’t already know… except perhaps the cost of bamboo!

BBC Wild About Pandas

  • Narrated by David Tennant! They have definitely made this programme for me.
  • “It’s not only a coup for the zoo…” Awesome rhyme.
  • Insurance is about £1 million for each panda. Jeez louise.
  • I didn’t know Edinburgh Zoo had actually hit hard times. I wish I’d gone in when I passed it now. Still, the pandas are bound to work.
  • Crazy how they are enormous bears but go and sit in the spindliest of trees.
  • “The Chinese have become experts on breeding and rearing pandas in captivity.”
  • You’d think that ten years would be long enough for a baby to be conceived, but hey, these are pandas we’re talking about.
  • “…they often prefer eating to procreating.” Well, hey, who doesn’t?
  • He keeps saying “should that happen” but he sounds quite confident that there will be a baby born.
  • Five years of negotiation to get the panda agreement.
  • New panda home is actually refurbished gorilla house. Recycling at its best!
  • People just grow bamboo forests in their back garden?
  • I love they have to stick the bamboo shoots in the ground straight up, so it looks natural.
  • £70,000 a year for the bamboo. Blimey!
  • I think I mostly love pandas because they just sit around and eat ALL day. What a life.
  • “If she is pregnant, she could give birth anywhere between six hours and ten days.” And there was me thinking they’d be vague about it.
  • Yay for the FedEx Panda Plane!
  • They are releasing pandas back into the wild? That’s fabulous.
  • Hehehe, the man is dressing up in disguise so the baby panda can’t see him. Ridiculous. I’d do it, though.
  • You’re kidding me. He’s putting on an ACTUAL panda suit.
  • The leaving ceremony wouldn’t be quite so bad if it wasn’t raining and foggy.
  • The pandas are in the plane and on half-hourly observations. For ten and a half hours.
  • I still think it’s wrong to welcome the pandas with bagpipes. I understand that some people like them, but they are a bit scary.
  • Aww, they’re so cute and lost and wandering in their new home.
  • Poor jet lagged pandas need a big hug.
  • 16 video cameras around where the pandas are living. That’s epic panda-cam.
  • “I could basically sit and look at the pandas 24 hours a day if I wanted to.” Yes, please.
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