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back to article Pull the plug on Pandas, declares BBC man

A BBC wildlife presenter has come off with a novel approach to saving the Giant Panda - don't bother. Chris Packham, who is all set to present the BBC's flagship Autumnwatch program, said the cuddly but rather useless Asian bears, whose diet of bamboo shoots means they never store enough fat to hibernate properly, were soaking …

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He's right...

Where human activity has caused the loss of an animal, there's an argument to say we have a moral duty to try and reverse that. And there is also an argument to say that we are the guardians of the planet and that maintaining a healthy and diverse biosphere is a good thing to do.

But, when it comes down to it, what does it ACTUALLY matter if a particular species is lost? In the grand scheme, it doesn't really.

Pandas are dying out despite anything we do. And we have enough video, art and data on them for it to make no real difference if they live or die.

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Pirate

BBC Wildlife Presenters ...

They soak up enough licence fee money. Let them go ...

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

Have to say i'm kind of inclined to agree with him. If a species can't even be bothered shagging to save itself, why bother, oh yeah they're horrendously cute that's why, same reason people are squeamish about eating cats and dogs,

I say we should all start eating panda now before there's none left to eat, i bet they're delicious, probably chocolate flavoured.

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Anonymous Coward

dibs

I got dibs on some roast panda

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Good lad!

This man must be looking for a career in politics.

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Terminator

Pandaring to the Cynics?

Y'know, he's not entirely wrong. They were pretty much doomed to die out anyways, what with both genders having all the bits and bobs internal and low breeding rates even in nature.

That's right. They have innie penises.

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Pint

did this interview...

take place in a pub by any chance?

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Dead Vulture

Sounds reasonable

The Panda thing - not the 'Human cull' thing.

I can't really see the point to them myself - do they keep pests down, provide a food source to another rare creature or in any way contribute to the world?

It's a fact that over the years there are many animals that are no longer around for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is evolution - animals that have painted themselves into an evolutionary corner and can't survive without their symbiotic partner (a bit like a man who can't find the remote control).

I would say that mankind is hardly blameless for quite a few of the animals lost, but can't really compete with things like the devonian event (or indeed any of the others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event) and to what extent is it reasonable to struggle to keep something alive that seems to have gone to quite some effort to wipe itself out.

Shame though, since they do look cute.

gravestone since - well do I need to say?

ttfn

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Joke

The WWF

The WWF will be laying the Smack-down on Packham now!!

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IT Angle

Why not...

Create a generation of genetically modified 'Super Pandas' which can eat and digest high fat content foods (such as Big Macs)?

Indeed, McDonalds or a similar vendow would probably cough up some of the millions needed for research in sponsorship / licensing fees.

Come to think of it, this could open up a whole new world of conservation / corporate sponsorship / perverse animal mutation...

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Got to agree with him on the Pandas and Civil Servants

If the panda was a form of giant cockroach, it would have gone extinct decades ago. It needs to eat an utterly useless food almost constantly to stay alive, and doesn't like sex.

There are far more important species (e.g. the bee, lots of amphibians) which appear to be going extinct at a disturbing rate, but because they are not cute and cuddly it's hard to get people interested. It's hard to get people worked up about insects and fish being wiped out, despite them being utterly critical to the rest of the system.

The irony is that without these lower order animals, half the higher order species will die out anyway, no matter how much people try to save them.

Oh, and pass the flamethrower....

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Sounds like an idiot.

Pandas haven't driven down an evolutionary cul-de-sac, they are perfectly fit for their environment and haven't been dying because of an inability to fit their environment, they've been dying out because humans have been killing them, even if not directly in some cases.

But this sentence gave some clarity:

"Go into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with a flamethrower and torch all of the stupid bureaucracy that dogs our farmers," he ranted. "Let's start organising fair pricing for UK farmers."

Oh I see, so he's one of those idiots who thinks farmers are somehow hard done by? Those will be the same farmers that have been polluting our streams and destroying our countryside on an industrial scale for the past hundred odd years or so. Meanwhile they've been bringing up animals in the most insanitary conditions and mingling them at cattle markets causing mass spread of disease amongst their cattle and then forcing the tax payer to pay for the inevitable cull, and then whine about compensation on top. They then of course blame badgers, because hey, I mean why not? they're there so it's obviously their fault, and expect the tax payer to fund the whiping out of badgers from parts of the country too? They complain about being poor, but are all multi-millionaires simply because of the amount of land they have available, let alone the profits and compensation they've effectively stolen on top.

But worst of all, the fuckers drive their tractors, at rush hour, down single lane roads, managing to bring massive detriment to the countries economoy by wasting countless man hours making people let and causing mass pollution by forcing people to chug along the roads for longer periods.

No, here's a better idea, let's cull our farmers and this idiot at the BBC, and get our farm products from abroad. What would this achieve? It would save wildlife in the UK (badgers), it would allow reforestation, it would cut pollution in our rivers from pesticides, it would boost the UK economy in that we wouldn't lose millions of man hours a year to farm vehicles travelling on roads at the most idiotic of times, it would mean we could actually get something out of the French farmers rather than just paying their subsidies, or provide work for asian/african farmers that are poor and actually need the money, and will actually farmer in a responsible way.

Save the pandas, destroy farmers (and certain idiot BBC folk).

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Silver badge

I've often said we should drop the Earth into the Sun

Only I'm having a bit of trouble managing it on my own. A little help?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Alert

Frigging Title.

Super Rants! need to follow Chris Packham on Twatter...

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Stick it in the freezer for future generations

How many species have been killed when trying to keep these bears alive? What is their carbon footprint?

The day after the last one dies, we'll find its sweat could have been used for curing cancer.

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Fight club?

Can't argue with his logic. Especially with regard to going and torching the piles of paperwork bloat in the ministries.

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Interesting

I kind of agree with 'censored' above - even without human involvement, pandas would have died out. But I disagree with anyone who says it doesn't actually matter what we do, though. Taking it to it's logical conclusion, in the grand scheme of things, it won't ACTUALLY matter if you live or die either, so why don't you jump off a tall building?

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Joke

Time to call Rainbow 6

Although actually I kinda agree with him.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a cliche, but I genuinely LOLed

..at that story about the captive-bred panda re-introduced to the wild by Chinese zoologists, which promptly climbed a tree, fell out and died.

Pandas are rubbish. Let evolution take its course already. Their diet dooms them, their hatred of other Pandas dooms them. They'd die out anyway- however cute they are.

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Coat

Where's John Clark when you need him?

Think we'd best call in Rainbow before this nutter starts to mix Ebola with Cancer cells................

....... Mines the one with the Clancy book in the pocket..........

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Hmm..

Still prefer Kate Humble.

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Woo, steady on, Ian 11!

Just because he was saying that fat, docile creatures with a poor diet and no sex life should be allowed to die out, didn't mean it was a personal attack on you, lad!

Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

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Mmmm, Panda

Certainly agree with the flame-throwers at DEFRA. Bunch of useless twunts. And I just had an encounter with an annoying pair of chuggers from WWF who tried to scam me into giving them a stop order. So I'm all for flame-grilled pandas as well.

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@sorry that handle is already taken

surely you just need a lever long enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Not always so cute

TV usually shows them sitting on their big fat arses chomping bamboo, but you should see Pandas go carnivore when they manage to move fast enough to get hold of a baby deer. Bambi drumsticks!

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Panda's are good fun though.

Hang on, I'm thinking of that chap with the dolphin.

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Absolutely...

It's thinking we can win over natural selection and our environment that has got our species so royally fucked anyway. When the case is that of the panda (fussy eater, fussy shagger), we should just accept that the whole line of them is a bad mutation and let them go! Obviously the case is different for orangutan, their plight is due to deforestation and therefore the onus is on us to sort the problem.

Now lets get Chris Packham on the board of NICE - "what's that you say, caused liver failure by alcohol intoxication? pull the plug".

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Quick question

To those suggesting above that it's okay to let things die out naturally, "unless it was because of mankind", do you view yourselves as somehow super-natural?

I've always considered myself a part of nature. If I cut down a tree and it contained the last "purple Wiznook", the purple wiznook has died out as naturally as if it was eaten by a Lion.

I watched "Last Chance to See" on Sunday and, whilst beatifully shot, the complete bollocks about the deforestation of Madagascar was maddening. We deforested Britain and most of mainland Europe. Why the hell are we stopping them having a great quality of life just to save a few ugly little primates who haven't evolved to survive without a dwindling natural resource?

Eventually, some day, we might use up all the resources and, unless we evolve, spread out to other planets etc, we'll die out and Earth will get along just fine without us. 65 Million years from now some species will be digging up our fossils and making films about how we have been recreated from the last batch of frozen embryos....

"Conservationists" annoy me almost as much as religious fanatics and strike me as appallingly similar in their view of humans as somehow superior.

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Coat

The panda menace

"... worst of all, the fuckers drive their tractors, at rush hour, down single lane roads, managing to bring massive detriment to the countries economoy by wasting countless man hours making people let and causing mass pollution by forcing people to chug along the roads for longer periods."

Pandas are crap at driving, but are too obstinate to take the lessons.

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WTF?

He is an idiot

The Panda is perfectly well adapted to its environment - mountain foothills covered with bamboo where nothing else can live because nothing else can eat it. It is dieing out predominantly because of habitat destruction, not because of anything else.

It is the same situation as with many species in the UK which are dieing out due to habitat being destroyed by the aforementioned "poor" farmers.

And do not even get me started on the "Grown in the UK" sticker which should actually should be "Proudly grown by underpaid illegal immigrants". Ukrainian if it is agriculture, Chinese if it is fisheries. What UK farming needs is some merciless enforcement of immigration laws and minimal pay.

That will be one of the best things that can happen to our "environment". Much more efficient than any "conservation" efforts and conservation programs on the BBC.

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Anonymous Coward

be careful what you wish for....

Human expansion and rapacity has caused many problems/opportunities for nature. A cull of humans will/would change the earth moderately or severely depending on how it is done. A cull of Bees, however may end several species at a stroke. Elimination of grass could well end most ruminants.

Many Civil servant could do with a stock take on what they usefully do. Few animal spieces have that capacity and if they did we would cull them because they would be competition...

I suspect the man was trying for self publicity and he succeeded. Now back to serious action about managing climate change, please.

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Badgers

@Ian "Sounds like an idiot" 11

Wow, someone clearly has serious issues when it comes to farmers. I never knew all farmers were alike; vicious EVIL DOERS(tm) with their devilish food-production methods and associated machinery of traffic doom!

You're not a badger by any chance?

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Anonymous Coward

I like some of those ideas

I like some of the ideas - if we're really going to initiate a cull of humans, I propose that we start with the areas which are most densely populated and offer the least resources for our animal chums - big cities in other words.

So, has anyone got a neutron bomb or 5 they can lend me to clean up London?

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McBamboo

If these things don't get enough fat from their bamboo-shoot diet, maybe what they need is for some enterprising multinational to open up a fast-food (and bamboo does grow very quickly) operation for the GPs.

Hopefully they wouldn't then die from lack of hibernation - or from type 2 diabetes complications instead.

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Headmaster

Killing with kindness

This article (http://unmaskingevolution.com/16-pandas.htm) posits the theory that its us who have led them down that cul-de-sac.

By babying them we have helped the useless bastards survive and not be be part of natural selection, so helping their devolution.

Even if all hunting was banned forever they'd either die out, or the species would adapt and thrive. Either way, i say let nature decide.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ian 11

Yes! Destroy the farmers! All my food comes from the supermarket anyway!

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@Paul25

"It needs to eat an utterly useless food almost constantly to stay alive, and doesn't like sex."

So do the Jonas Brothers. Let the culling commence.

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FAIL

@Ian 11

That's a bit extreme. Though I'll end up agreeing with you when driving home tonight down a country lane and the same irritating fscker is driving his tractor 55mph under the (60mph) speed limit.

We should preserve the Panda DNA, along with the other species on Earth (endangered or not). Then we don't lose their potential benefits but don't have to worry about looking after them.

The WWF should be quietly supporting this- more funds for species we can do something for (or which can do something for us) and when the last Panda dies they can claim even more poigniance for their logo.

These guys got there first, though...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRrrVbG1X8Y

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Conserve these cuddly critturs

They are an evolutionary cul-de-sac, eat nothing but bamboo shoots, lounge around all day, and can't be assed to have sex On the other hand, they're cute, cuddly, photogenic and do little harm. So on balance, I'm in favour of Civil Servants.

And, I'm with Toby Rose - we seem to have no shortage of loud-mouthed wallabies happy to take taxpayer's (BBC) cash and then whinge about big government and a superfluity of civil servants. Hypocrites.

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Grenade

Whoa There

Packham is wrong - not the first time as he was on Countryfile the otehr night and completely misidentfied the tree a non-native bird was sat in. Chris it was a Cotteneaster spp. not a frigging Sorbus aucuparia (Mountain Ash).

Pandas fill an ecological niche and we will not know how valuable they were until they have gone and then it is too late.

BTW don't pick on the farmers blame the Eurotrash muppets who came up with CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and the supermarkets which expect to buy resources cheap, to their rediculous measurements and flogging it to us at massively inflated prices. Actually don't blame them, blame city shareholders who expect their pound of flesh from the proffits made.

Actually stuff all of that and lay all the blame squarly at the feet of unbridled greed; be it Capitalism or any other form of system build around inedible pieces of paper.

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hmmm

why dont we try to set up pandas somewhere else? surely there areb places that provide more nourishing fauna than bloody bamboo?

i dunno, they seem too cute to let go. arghh did i say that out loud? :)

he is deffo right about the civil servants and to be honest humans. we really are making a complete hash of things right now and really can be considered a virus on the planet. there are very few othr animals that cannot self regulate breeding like we seem incapable of (no kids yet so im a goody goody) :)

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Go

99.99999999% of all species are extinct

Those extant today are destined to follow them and be replaced by something new.

He's going to be unpopular for saying it, but he's probably right. Natural history is full of species which hit an evolutionary dead end. That's how evolution works.

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Joke

Obligitory Futurama Reference

Free Waterfall Senior: *cocks rifle* Let's conservate

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Dead Vulture

Humans?

They haven't got long to go anyway.

No good saving the pandas - they won't be creating mini-versions of Basildon to keep a few breeding pairs.

Y'all gonna die,anyway.

Tombstone as even El-Reg has to make the journey to Boot Hill sometime.

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Megaphone

Ignorant people

The Panda population plummeted because of two things. one. Loss of habitat, and two, poaching for their skins and organs used in quack medicine. Both caused by Man! The don't breed well in captivity, in fact lose interest in sex, once captive. Now there is a surprise, eh stick a creature used to having free range over hundreds of square kilometres in a concrete pen, restrict its diet, as it has quite a varied diet in the wild and wonder why its bloody depressed. I'd like to stick you lot of Panda haters in a cage, fed on pot noodles for life and occasionally shove in Frogmella from the "estate" for breeding and see how you get on. But in all truth I expect that is how you live anyways! except the cage has a computer in it!

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@ Ian11

re farmers: You're attacking a symptom, not a cause.

Farmers are driven to the intensive methods because their customers, (supermarket chains for example), demand it.

Why do their customers demand it?

Because we want cheap food and farmers will do it because they don't want to go out of business for using less intensive, less damaging more expensive methods. Human greed has a lot to answer for.

Sounds too much like hippy smelling, Gaurdian reading crap to me as well but that's how it is.

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Badgers

Needs to make his mind up

If he wants to exterminate humanity why does he care about farmers? To be consistent he needs to encourage DEFRA in its making life difficult for farmers, and have the whole of the Asian mountain paddy country set aside as a Panda reserve. That way we can all starve together.

And badgers will inherit the earth.

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Boffin

Yes, let's remove the useless...

but since killing is so icky (at least when done face-to-face), let's simply remove them from the planet. All we need is a big spaceship and some doom-and-gloom stories to convince them that we need to evacuate, and we can send off all of our TV hosts, bureaucrats, telephone sanitizers...

<-- All I ever needed to know, I learned from DNA.

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FAIL

Two problems here..

Firstly, even Hollywood couldn't save the blighters - When we had Teenage Mutant Whatever Turtles everybody bought them, got bored and flushed 'em. The same with Clown Fish (Nemo) and Dalmations (101 etc..). Now, following on from Kung Fu Panda my local pet shop's bloody overstocked and they're w-a-y too big to flush down the bog! The owner's had to flog them to the local kebab shop.

Secondly, the ONLY wildlife shows any respecting gent should be watching is one hosted by Michaela Strachan! A bit of a BOBFOC, maybe, but no chance of any red-blooded bloke going all panda with her in the room... PHWWOOAAR!

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