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China and Their Giant Pandas

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by AnaheimZoo, 22 Jan 2013.

  1. AnaheimZoo

    AnaheimZoo Well-Known Member

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    I don't completely understand the situation with China and their giant pandas. Why did they stop giving pandas to other nations as diplomatic gifts?

    I realize that giant pandas are one of China's national treasures, but why is it that a country cannot buy pandas, but only receive them by temporary loan? China wants half of the money from the loan fee for conservation and research purposes, as well as ownership of the cubs born, correct? Why can't they sell the pandas, raise the cost by a few million dollars, and then use that money (instead of just 1/2 million from the loans) towards their panda/habitat conservation and research? Are there certain laws that prevent this from happening? Is China unwilling to permanently give up any pandas?

    CGSwans said a few months ago, when talking about news of new destinations for pandas, "...It is all getting rather silly. At this rate, they will not remain one of the zoo world's ultimate status symbols for very much longer." Obviously if pandas were exhibited in every zoo, they wouldn't be that exciting (I surmise that this is what he meant). Could this have something to do with it?

    I apologize if (A). this question/matter has already been discussed, (B). the answer to my question is blatantly obvious, (C). I am being inconsiderate of important details that would answer the question. It's just that I'm a bit confused about the whole thing and was just curious about why this can't be done/hasn't been done.
     
  2. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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  3. ZooTravelGuide

    ZooTravelGuide Member

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    Great article!

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Cheryl
     
  4. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Something ironic about a nominally communist country in a position like that. Basically like an OPEC country but they are the only one with the resource. As many rules as China breaks on a daily basis regarding international agreements, what if Atlanta or Memphis said no toward this racket and just kept the animals?
     
  5. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    The US Fish and Wildlife Service would never allow that as they are endangered species and here on special permits. Also it would start an international incident.
     
  6. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Thats the problem when one organization (US FWS) follows the rule of law and the other doesn't. With all the corruption in China we have absolutely no proof any of the conservation money goes anywhere but an officials pocket. This is 2013 why should anyone be subsidizing China's in situ conservation?

    China gets to pretend to be a first world country when they can't follow the basic rule of law. I wonder how long this frankly dumb and one sided set up wil last?
     
  7. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Very good question. Almost every product you buy here in the states (and I assume other first world countries) says Made In China. I saw a report that within a few years (I forget the exact year), China will have more billionares than the United States. Surely they can afford to foot their own bill these days.
     
  8. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly Docent, A simple case of follow the money because since most US zoos operate as a non-profit or a government entity its a system that bilks the American taxpayer at the consumer, local, and federal level and the buck stops in China.

    The thing I can't figure out is the all babies belong to China rule. That made sense when the animals were gifts not when they cost multi-million dollar investments. To who exactly the government? If so its a case of China acting like a middle ages mercantilist country in a capitalist world order while being nominally communist and gaming the system yet again. US Zoos should keep the Panda babies currently. Animals aren't property of a government to use as chessmen for their weird sick games.

    If the Chinese want them, come and get them. They want to play Middle Ages in the 21st century hence they need the West for the Knowledge base. One addendum to what you said nearly everything is made in China except that which involves skilled labor or the knowledge economy.
     
  9. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    The pandas belong to China. They are on loan to the U.S. and all of the other countries that have them. The baby pandas belong to China. Animals do "belong" legally to governments. The U.S. federal government controls eagles, endangered species, and various other species. State governments have control over other species. You are advocating piracy when you suggest that the U.S. should just keep the pandas.

    Pandas were given as diplomatic gifts in the 1970s and if there was a population of zoo pandas that arose from the gift pandas then the U.S. would "own" them. Those pandas never reproduced and created a sustainable population so now the only way for zoos outside China to get pandas is to rent them from China. In the 1980s this lead to some really despicable behavior from both China shipping wild caught animals and zoos profiteering from endangered species. The federal government and the AZA put a stop to it until a new system based on conservation funding could be developed. That is what we have now.

    China has verifiably built a conservation program for wild pandas. They have a preserve system and they give panda poachers a bullet in the head. There are no doubt massive problems and pandas have been caught up in diplomatic spats, as have golden monkeys. Your "solution" of stealing the baby pandas, which under any credible legal interpretation belong to China, would only screw things up beyond all repair. If you really don't want the panda program to continue because you don't like the Chinese government then you should contact your congressional representatives, the AZA, and the USFWS and register your unhappiness and demand a change.
     
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  10. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Its a system where we pretend China is a partner in conservation for one species because it is a ponzi scheme while ignoring their governments spotty record with rhinos and tigers (including no crackdowns on the "traditional" medicine trades).

    China needs to reform from within before it gets equal credit. I'm not advocating theft because their government doesn't own them.

    China worship on the internet is a scary thing almost becoming a cult of personality. They aren't this modern enlightened society that people bring them out to be. Hence Chinese demand for fairytales is the main reason we will probably lose the Rhino and the Tiger.

    We are playing checkers and they are playing chess. We are trying to preserve endangered species and they are exploiting them. And we sit around and pretend they are equal partners. If China doesn't answer to its own people how can we ever expect them to be a willing and honest partner in conservation? They aren't interested in conservation only exploiting the remaining Pandas like a trump card in a game of Spades.

    That system of corruption hasn't stopped its just like everything in China a gilded mirage covering up the same old system. And apparently many people are fooled by this mirage. They just found out they could game a system to their advantage and thats what we get with the Panda issue now.

    If the Chinese really are faking their economic data not to mention their human rights record with absolutely no reforms how can we trust how they treat a few bears? Where are the independent organizations not controlled by the Chinese government?

    Look how the Chinese treat other species. Heck forget species look how they treat their own citizens. There is no rule of law, no management, no free exchange of ideas. How can we except a society that micromanages everything to actually be a willing partner to something that might go against their "plans"?

    If the Panda wasn't demanding the money they do, do you think the Chinese would care?
     
  11. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    Yes there are problems with China, but you go far. China does own all Pandas and like said by David before the US has done the same with some species. So this is not very different. The Chinese are using the money they raise with the loan agreements for Panda conservation and no it is not just about money. National pride plays a role and believe it or not there are people in China that actually care about their wildlife in general and there are even more people in China that care about Pandas specifically.

    Still it is free for anyone to not deal with the Chinese government, but accept then as well you will not have Pandas in your zoo. The actions you propose are theft.
     
  12. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    It would be theft but should we not hold China to the same standards? After all the agreements regarding pandas are just international agreements things China doesn't even comply with them when it comes to its own citizens welfare or rights. Again you are missing the point, China is merely treating Pandas as a commodity under the gilded veneer of conservation. The Chinese Government doesn't care about the Panda they might as well be a barrel of really rare oil.

    Government doesn't own wild animals even endangered ones. A Florida Panther isn't an asset of the Federal

    This article makes it clear, its not about the science, conservation, or animal welfare.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...l-truth-Chinas-panda-factories.htmlGovernment.

    The Chinese are treating the Panda with attitudes that the West displayed toward animals 100-200 years ago and it seems everyone is ok with that around here.

    Seems to be a recurring theme, China has no interest in actual international cooperation that doesn't end with "China wins". They sign the agreements, reap the benefits, then make none of the concessions.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2013
  13. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    tschandler71: It takes two hands to clap. The US has the most number of zoos displaying pandas outside of China. Perhaps you might want to lobby AZA to boycott the panda loan program if indeed it were as sinister as you have put it? If there were no willing takers, evil China would certainly have no incentive to go on with it.
     
  14. loxodontaafrica

    loxodontaafrica Well-Known Member

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    @tschandler71: your comments are verging on extremist.

    The loan agreements and their standard payment, duration, etc, have proven successful. In the United states a comprehensive research program is necessary to import them from china. Through the international panda program we have gone leaps and bounds in regards to panda communication, endocrinology, reproduction, and more. In addition, ideal AI techniques were perfected at the Smithsonian and are now utilized at several of the breeding centers in China quite successfully.

    In response to your inexplicable stance on international zoo born pandas.......:)confused:) If the host zoo does not own the parents then how could they possibly own the offspring? I feel the policy of returning all offspring to China after a standard period of time is an effective way to prevent selfish retention of offspring from the breeding program and the subsequent loss of genetic diversity. Since one of San Diego's panda cubs was returned to China she has had a single cubs or twins every year since 2006.
     
  15. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Every country has its own laws regarding wildlife. In the US, its citizens "own" wild animals but they are managed by federal and state governments in trust of the people. However, the USFWS does legally own all captive native endangered and threatened species.

    There are several countries that do regard their wildlife as resources no different from oil or coal, including Kenya, DRC, and China.

    Whether you believe animals should be regarded as a national resource or not is your opinion, but different governments have different ways to acknowledge their wildlife. Also, your statements on whether China treats its pandas any differently than oil is often no different than how wildlife is treated in this country. Governments in Wyoming and Montana don't seem to care too much for their wolves or bison.
     
  16. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Evil China, give us a break. Failure to understand the Chinese mindset morelike and you better get into it in this century if you would like to progress (also in the US).

    Besides, it is a simple capitalist exchange and arithmetic. So, what is not wrong at home is suddenly wrong when the (RED) Chinese practise this to perfection?

    If we - outside P.R. China - wish to progress with endangered species vice versa we should opt the same tactic and bargain harder? :D :eek:
     
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  17. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    Sadly you are absolutely right about the bolded. Wildlife in the western states is there to be shot if you ask most fish and game departments.

    In regards to pandas, I think the title of the article, Pandas, Inc. really does sum up what they are in China in a lot of ways. They are a major business. It makes you wonder if any other animal will be that way.
     
  18. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    One of the better assessments of China that I have read in a while. Frank. I am surprised that no subsequent poster has discussed the tiger/rhino mindset in relation to the panda conservation. I would also add that tigers and rhinos for the most part are from other countries whereas the panda is a national treasure and posterbear for China's emergence on the world stage.

    tschandler, I have stated elsewhere on this forum that unless about 1 billion Chinese suddenly disappear from the earth tomorrow, our planet is doomed (re: ravaging the earth for resources, pollution, and wildlife extermination) UNLESS we can change their attitudes very very quickly OR put more checks and balances in place (re: poaching, deforestation, selling off land etc).

    I am not sure I have an opinion on China owning their pandas though if we just examine that issue independently of all other issues. Their conservation program has been successful, and they do protect the panda with fanatical fervour. Maybe it is a model that other countries could adopt. Or, maybe it is a model that would only work if you are a superpower like China, but not if you are the DRC. I am just happy that the pandas are doing well and I get to see them in the 'West'. I do wish that China would be just as passionate about all wildlife the way they are about the panda though.
     
  19. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Ladies and gentlemen, this thread is started to veer into dangerous territory, please tread lightly.
     
  20. blospz

    blospz Well-Known Member

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    I thought I heard from the panda zookeeper at the Smithsonian that a zoo in Mexico is the only zoo that owns its pandas. They are the only ones that are from the time when China gave their pandas as gifts to countries. I think their off spring count as well. Is this accurate or did I mishear this information?