David Plotz has one message for Northwest animal lovers when they consider adding pandas to their zoos in the next year: Don’t do it.
“Pandas have been duping us for a generation now,” Plotz said. “These animals don't want to survive. They're evolutionarily a dead end. They don't take care of their children. They don't breed. They eat only one food.”
Harsh words for such a beloved animal. But he has many, many more. Plotz has made his hatred for pandas known as host of Slate’s Political Gabfest. He told Bill Radke he honestly doesn't get why people love pandas so much.
“Look, they're photogenic, I’m not going to take away that fact they're photogenic. They're not interesting in what they do and how they live. They are ill tempered. They're a very frustrating and tedious animal.”
Plotz pointed out that American zoos don’t actually own these animals; they rent them from the Chinese government. The Washington State Panda Foundation is considering paying $1 million per year for 10 years.
“We shouldn't put our resources into them,” Plotz said. “We should put our resources into an animal that wants NOT to go extinct. Pandas don't even care about saving themselves from extinction.”
“Pandas do seem to have a lot of trouble mating, at least in zoos,” Radke added.
“They have a lot of trouble mating in the wild because they are solitary, unpleasant animals that don't really want to take care of their children,” Plotz replied.
In case it hasn’t sunk in yet how much Plotz dislikes pandas:
“Pandas are ill tempered, tedious, neglectful animals and they don't deserve our praise. They just sit there and occasionally do things that are kind of gross. Maybe they breed and then the panda will give birth to a little cub, and then it will sit on the cub, or it will give the cub an infection, or it'll just not even notice that the cub is there and not take care of it.
“Ninety nine point nine percent of the time it is just sitting there. Lumpishly. Spending taxpayer money.”
The Washington State Panda Foundation said it will not pay for pandas with taxpayer money.
Plotz threw one last jab at the panda dream: “Don't join the panda frenzy. The Seahawks should find another player instead. You're going to be so much happier.”
A delegation from China will be coming in the next couple of months to determine if the Puget Sound region would be right for a pair of pandas.