Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

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Taiwan discovers fake Chinese pandas

April 1, 2009

pandas1An alarming story from my former employers details what happened at the Taipei Zoo when crowds realized the pandas China sent last December were actually painted Wenzhou brown forest bears:

The Taipei Zoo’s head of ursidae ex-procyonidae care, Connie Liu (劉長春), said she became suspicious when the pandas, Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓), began to spend almost all of their waking hours having sex. Pandas are notorious for their low libidos, which make them difficult to breed in captivity.

“Let’s just say Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan would tuan yuan at every chance,” said Liu, referring to the combination of the panda’s names, which means “to reunite” in Mandarin. “They would do it doggy-style and every armchair zoologist knows that pandas favor the missionary position — when they do it at all. Their behavior caused chaos. Children screamed and parents became irate.”

Her suspicions were confirmed yesterday when she noticed that the animals’ new hair growth was discolored.

“Their roots began to show,” she said.

A zookeeper who asked to be identified only by his nickname A-diung (阿忠) because he was not authorized to speak with the media said he and his coworkers had long had their doubts, but were discouraged from publicly voicing their concerns by management.

“Whenever the moaning from the panda enclosure gets too loud we gotta go in there and hose ’em down with cold water,” he said. “After a while, parts of the animals’ black-and-white patches started to turn brown.”

He said he alerted senior zoo staff who dismissed his concerns.

The story has received wider attention from the international press. Here’s more.

UPDATE: James Fallows of the Atlantic was pleased with the story as well.

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