Nine-​​year-​​old panda Mao Mao was buried amid much mourn­ing and sor­row ear­lier this week. The ani­mal was killed dur­ing the earth­quake that hit China last month and killed nearly 30,000 peo­ple, at least a thou­sand of whom were kids in schools that pan­caked down upon them and left them to die buried in rubble.

You must look after her babies, OK?” said [Pandas International direc­tor Suzanne] Braden, who had arrived a day ear­lier to sur­vey the quake dam­age and help in the recov­ery. “And their babies.”

Yes. Yes, let’s look after the panda babies.

After all, with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion, it’s obvi­ous that humans are not an endan­gered species in China — so nat­u­rally human babies don’t need to be looked after with any­where near as much atten­tion. Which is why, I sup­pose, there’s rea­son to sus­pect the schools the chil­dren attended — and died under — were not built to code and were, in fact, essen­tially deathtraps.

It’s only in the eighth graf of the MSNBC piece that we learn five humans were also killed at the zoo where the panda was.

But back to the god­damned panda.

For the staff at Wolong, Mao Mao’s loss was all the more acute because she was killed in her prime…

Right, she was of breed­ing age — which of course the dead school­child­ren were not. And I sup­pose we can safely assume that the other 28,000 or so killed were at least partly elderly or infirm, so we shouldn’t worry about them as much either, as they would be past their prime.

David Wildt, head of the Smithsonian Zoo’s Center for Species Survival, said

They’re all named and have their own personalities,

Unlike, say, human kids.

Now the panda breed­ing pro­gram at Wolong will have to move, because of fears that another quake could wreck the breed­ing program.

One won­ders if the same con­cern will be shown for the sit­ing of the next school.


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