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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