No more Panda :(

The National Zoo in DC no longer has any pandas, as Hsing-Hsing has died :frowning:

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O p a l C a t

I bet Michelle could have saved him…

There are two new ones in Atlanta.

Which begs the question, “What is the shelf life of your average panda?”

The local news didn’t say, only to say that he was the oldest panda in captivity. Until today, anyway. 28’s pretty old for a bear, isn’t it?

Whether panda lifespans aren’t that long to begin with or that they don’t do well in captivity, I dunno.

your humble TubaDiva

Not to take away from the sorrow that this animal’s passing has caused; but how could they tell?

The couple of times I saw the pair at the Nat. Zoo in the '80s they never seemed to move. It was about as exciting as watching paint dry (or the House of Rep. visitor gallery)!

What purpose does it serve to put such uninteresting animals on public display, except to deprive them of their liberty?(Kinda ironic when you consider where they come from.)

If I recall correctly (which, of course, is subjec to interpretation), the crop of bamboo that the pandas feed upon is due for an extinction of sorts, as the live plants shed their seeds and die, leaving a short period of 2~3 years where food is scarce.

If the pandas aren’t particularly well fed, or if they’ve not stored enough fat for the coming “famine”, perhaps they’re at a weak point, more susceptible to death.

In captivity, I’d imagine that the additional stress would have something to do with the death of this panda.

Poor guys (gender neutral), there should be more efforts toward preserving their natural habitat - not toward preserving their life expectancy in captivity.

If there were no hope for them in the wild, I’d be more optimistic… but these pandas really didn’t have much of a chance in any captive habitat, given their restricted diet and social capabilities.

Very sad.

But a panda is NOT a bear. :slight_smile:

Aw man…I knew he wasn’t in good health, but I didn’t know he was this bad…I’ll miss him. I loved seeing the Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling when my parents took me to the zoo. :frowning:

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” - George Carlin

Damn it! I didnt put on waterproof mascara for this thread. Opal warn me next time!

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

The reason pandas aren’t very active is that they are really big and live entirely off of bamboo (and blueberry muffins, in Hsing-Hsing’s case). In the wild they live to around 15, in captivity they can live into their 20s. A major reason they are going extinct is that both the male and the female have a fertility cycle, and they have to sinc up for it to work. With fewer and fewer pandas out there, the chances of that are less and less likely.

O p a l C a t

Poor Hsing-Hsing. I was just at the zoo this afternoon, and the panda house was full of flowers and get-well cards from local elementary school kids. Almost cried right then and there.

I heard this news on the radio today, and was surprised to find myself getting all choked up. As a kid in the 70s, Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling were big favorites. You learned important tidbits, such as; pandas are not bears, they’re related to raccoons. They were also symbolic of a peace between nations, given as a gift from China during the Nixon Administration. I hope they had a decent life. I always felt sad when their attempts at baby pandas failed. They’re such beautiful creatures!