VIDEO – Le Figaro decided to “restore” the truth about this animal symbol of attractiveness. Because no, a panda is not a good furball…
Emblem of WWF and China, the panda is universally respected and China is taking the opportunity to make friends. But don’t be fooled by his round face, smoky eyes, and clumsy gaze: in fact, the panda is a clumsy pest, not adapted to life in the wild. Le Figaro reveals five reasons to hate the panda. The peacock, with its highly impractical tail, is sometimes referred to as “Darwin’s paradox”. Panda would be a nightmare version of him…
• He has an absurd diet
Ailuropod melanoleuca eat anything and he doesn’t care. Judge for yourself: the panda eats almost exclusively plants. Which would be absolutely perfect for this endemic species of China where bamboo grows in abundance. Yes, but here it is: endowed with one stomach and a short intestine, its digestion is rapid; its gut microbiota is full of beneficial carnivorous bacteria, but not the enzymes responsible for breaking down cellulose; on the contrary, his genetics endow him with all the abilities of a predator, except for a mutation in the gene encoding the taste of umami, close to the taste of meat. In short, the panda is physiologically unable to properly assimilate plants, but appears to be genetically incapable of appreciating a good piece of barbecue. And despite the fact that for several million years it processed up to 20 kg of bamboo per day, the beast did not evolve one iota …
• He turned laziness into an art
Let’s correct the previous point: the panda has definitely not adapted its stomach to its diet. But in order to cope with the ups and downs of his plate, he relied on … laziness. A panda is something of a fluffy teenager who spends his time sprawled out like a soft mussel in a forest. Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the energy expenditure of eight pandas (five captive and three wild) in 2015 and found that the animals expended just over 1,200 kilocalories per day, half that of a human of equivalent weight (just over 90 kg). To do this, the panda has three unstoppable tactics. First, his three vital and energy-consuming organs (brain, liver, and kidneys) are smaller than expected. Also, his thyroid hormone levels are especially low (which might explain disgust point #3…). Finally, he spends less than 50% of his time in motion. And this is at a speed of 27 meters per hour.
• His libido is completely reduced
Panda’s libido is a real disaster. Not only do more than half of them show no interest in sex, but if the desire to flirt comes to them, then you still have to fall in love with a female at the right time. The latter is really sensitive to the charm of the opposite sex for only two days, maximum three, a year. Late winter or early spring. And I’m not sure sir is interested.
• Two types of pandas, but only one of them is a bear
As for taxonomy, the panda is a complete mess. To summarize: giant panda (Ailuropod melanoleuca, the one who practices kung fu in cartoons) is well classified among the bears. But his Chinese name means “big cat-bear”, which already shows that he tends to fill boxes. During the 20th century, it was classified along with the red panda (Eilurus fulgens), which, like him, has a sixth finger. But the red panda actually belongs to the mustelid group, just like the weasel or the skunk. As long as he lives in the same place, eats the same and shares part of his name. Panda is really nonsense.
• He nearly killed President Giscard d’Estaing.
In December 1973, China presented two giant pandas, Yen Yen and Li Li, to President Pompidou. Li Li will die prematurely from a pancreatic tumor, Yen Yen will outlive him until the age of 27. But in 1981, a fit of rage (unless it was human vanity…) nearly ended the good times of Franco-Chinese panda diplomacy. While visiting his daughter, who was undergoing a veterinary internship at the Zoo de Vincennes, French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing wanted to enter a panda’s cage “to prove the courage of the President of the Republic,” as he later admits before the hilarious number. But Yen Yen did not taste the presidential honor. Not once, not twice, ”the panda jumped at me. […] The guard came to rescue me from the claws, but imagine what comments would be if the beast knocked me down … “. Undoubtedly. The president of France, eaten by a Chinese panda, would lack panache.