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Giant Pandas in Washington state?

Discussion in 'United States' started by TerraFera, 23 Dec 2015.

  1. TerraFera

    TerraFera Member

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    It appears that there is an effort here in Washington state to bring giant pandas to one of our zoos. I think it would be awesome to place them in the old elephant section of the Woodland Park Zoo if they redeveloped the exhibit to suit pandas!

    You can read an article HERE.
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2015
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    this is such a weird backwards idea to me, where random people want to try and get China to loan some pandas to their state and then will try to get a zoo involved to house them. Isn't this the same sort of thing happening in New York with De Blasio?
     
  3. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    My first thought as soon as I saw the headline of this thread. And of course, no zoo in NYC has the space except for Bronx which doesn't want the pandas due to the cost.(And I'm sure the smaller zoos wouldn't want the pandas even if they had the space, for the reason mentioned above.)

    However, one the Bronx zoo director stated he would accept the pandas if the funds came from anyone other than the zoo.
     
  4. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting concept. I think it would be cool to have pandas in Washington and they said some people from China will visit and look into the viability of having them there. I think Woodland Park would be the most likely candidate, but it does seem a bit odd that it's not one of the zoos looking to bring in pandas but rather a special group. It would definitely be an expensive undertaking so it'll be interesting to see how it all pans out.
     
  5. TerraFera

    TerraFera Member

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    It's funny how pandas have become such (pardon the pun) political animals. The idea that an outside group would vy for having pandas in their state speaks to efforts to maybe score political points with China given that pandas are not nearly as contentious as other economic or political avenues.

    The loan terms for pandas are expensive and I'm not sure if the increased revenues from having them in a zoo are enough to break even. Perhaps if outside funding were used specifically to create an endowment for the care of the animals and for paying the annual loan costs then perhaps it would be less of a financial burden?

    Still, it can't be denied that hosting pandas at a zoo in your state is a status symbol of sorts. And anyway, when China gifted the United States a pair of pandas in 1972 the First Lady donated them to the National Zoo, so there is a precedent for receiving animals without a zoo initiating the request.

    Then again, that was long before China began "loaning" the animals out and demanding payments. If I'm not mistaken, however, the USFWS requires that at least 50% of those payments be funneled into direct conservation efforts.
     
  6. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

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    Considering its climate, exhibitry style and specialties, I think the Woodland Park Zoo would be a good fit to house giant pandas. It has had such great success exhibiting Asian species over the years and would likely build the most immersive giant panda exhibit around. However, pandas are indeed a financial burden and WPZ has often chosen quality over quantity. I'm really hoping for a state-of-the-art Indian rhinoceros exhibit on the site of former Elephant Forest and would love to see a renovation to the Australasia area of the zoo, both projects which would most likely not have sufficient funding in the near future if giant pandas were brought in.
     
  7. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    The Los Angeles Zoo tried to get them years ago and the mayor of Los Angeles even pushed for it when he did a trade visit to China (since L.A. is a major port for incoming goods from Asia). He was unsuccessful (but was told they would instead get golden monkeys, which the Chinese refused to send even after L.A. built an exhibit for them). Oakland was supposed to have pandas by now but they are nowhere to be seen. Even though I did not bother to read the linked article, I am virtually certain this will go nowhere.
     
  8. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    I don't like Giant Panda's; I find them to be no more exciting than other bears other than the fact they are a primitive sort of bear and that they eat bamboo. Oh, and they are black and white. I much prefer Polar Bears but there aren't as many near me as there used to be. I also think that they so expensive its not worth even thinking about them, the rental fees alone for an American Zoo are absurdly high in my opinion. But I digress.

    Really, I just have a feeling that this won't go anywhere, even if Seattle might be a good place for them. What I really want to see is a platypus exhibit outside of Australia, but I'm sensible enough not to expect one.