You knew I was going to have to come up with a response to the astounding news out of Zoo Atlanta yesterday morning, didn’t you? What? You haven’t heard?
It turns out that not one, not two, but THREE pandas born at Zoo Atlanta had gender misidentifications. Actually, that’s really four, since first born Atlanta panda Mei Lan was thought to be female until reaching the age of five when they discovered: wait no! it’s a boy.
Now, it turns out that not only the twinkies are girls instead of the “absolute, no mistake here” gender identification as boys, but also, three year old Po is female as well. I always thought that Po was a particularly pretty panda, but really, we all kind of look alike, so what do I know? Needless to say, it was quite the chatty day in the pandasphere!
Meanwhile did any of them think about ME and all the work I would have to do, new names for Bert and Ernie, (front runners: Thelma and Louise), new wardrobes, going back and drawing eyelashes on the previous drawings of the twins…it’s not like I don’t have enough to do already! Zoo officials have no idea how time consuming panda satire is!
If you missed the earlier “expose`” about the gender reassigning of Mei Lan, here it is: Huzzah!
Tomorrow! a new outfit for Princess Pinky! (at last!)
Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda
Love this. You are quick to adjust to the ever-changing world of our Pandas and Pandettes! I hadn’t seen the one on Mei Lun. Very cute!!!!!
Fortunately, people are very quick to put me in the loop when in comes to panda news, especially news like this that is ripe for satire. And of course since I’m in the middle of my 31 days of pandas, inspiration is always welcome. I think I’ll get a lot of milage out of this one.
You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried! What great fodder for Panda Satire! What did I ever do with my time before I became a Panda Fanda?
I love it when reality hands to me on a silver platter stories that are more absurd than anything I can make up my self. So glad you have become a “Panda Fanda” Bwahahaha! my evil yet cunning plan is working! Bwahahaha!
How about Bertha & Ernestine for the twinkies? They could still keep Bert & Ernie as nicknames.
Another friend pointed that idea out to me. Now that you’ve concurred, I think I am going to take your suggestion. I really hated the idea of giving up the names “Bert and Ernie”
Seriously? Aren’t the zoo people scientists? I guess it must be really hard to tell baby boy pandas from baby girl pandas, but still … I, myself, was able to successfully identify the gender of week-old gerbils! Thank heavens all YOUR pandas know exactly who and what they are!
OK, in all seriousness, it is actually very hard to tell what gender a panda is, except through DNA testing, which they don’t do on all cubs, probably because it’s too expensive. (of course, when you’re talking about pandas, everything is expensive!) The first panda to come to the US, Su Lin, who was brought by Ruth Harkness in 1936, was thought to be female, until after his death and autopsy. Oops! The first panda born in Atlanta, Mei lan, was believed to be female and it wasn’t until Mei Lan reached five years,and had already been moved to China, that they discovered “she” was actually “he.”
Bao Bao, (aka Princess Pinky) of National Zoo in DC was DNA tested because they wanted to know who her father was (sperm from 2 different pandas was used for AI) and so they know beyond a reasonable doubt that she is female. My guess is that the upcoming relocation of Po and Xi Lan from Atlanta triggered DNA testing, and they figured they might as well do the twins while they were at it, and discovered that not only the twins were female, but also 3 year old Po. Oops!
What does this mean? like I said, it’s really hard to tell with pandas until they are mature at 4 or 5 years old. But for panda satire? It’s Christmas in…OK, well, it is Christmas, anyway. It means I am writing comic scripts fast and furious because it creates so many funny scenarios I just can hardly stand it! Stay tuned!
Thanks for enlightening me – I never knew that about pandas. I just always figured you could tell all mammals apart in the same way. As Dear Abby or Ann Landers (I can’t remember which) used to say: I deserve 20 lashes with a wet noodle for my ignorance.
No noodle lashing required. It’s one of those facts that only really panda obsessed people know about. Had I not read Vicki Contstantine Crocke’s book about Ruth Harkness,The Lady and the Panda or Henry Nicholls’ book The Way of the Panda, I would not have known this interesting panda fact. Both books are excellent reads if you want to know more about pandas. The Ruth Harkness story is quite riveting.
I loved Bert and Ernie but if they are girls then Thelma and Louise are great names! At least if they drive off a cliff we know they will land in Cuppycakes!!
I loved their pyjamas so much – can’t wait to see what you come up with for the girls.
Now, I’m kind of conflicted about changing their names. “Bert and Ernie” could be nicknames for Roberta and Ernestine. what do you think? At any rate, they will have a new outfit today!
I’ve always loved the names Bert and Ernie and love what they stand for now (Roberta & Ernestine). I also love their new outfits 🙂
I really didn’t want to give up Bert and Ernie. :o)