Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Again, I Offer My Expertise To Settle Matters Once And For All, And Pandas Are Involved

Apparently, we do have to worry about them after all.

Oh, I know that the President assured us that we don't, and even I didn't believe that Quitter From Alaska when she started frothing about them on her TwitFace page, but after reading this article on, I am frantic!

I am, of course, talking about Death Panels.

Death Panels For Pandas.

British naturalist and BBC personality Chris Packham seems to think that preserving the panda, whose population numbers less than 2000 currently worldwide, is simply not worth the effort anymore. "It's not a strong species...and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation," he said. "I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go with a degree of dignity." Packham realizes that his Panda Plan will probably not catch on, however, because the panda is "big and cute and it's the symbol of the WWF." He would rather see funds allocated to other species which have a better chance at survival.

Wow, Mr. Chris Packham. Harsh. Let me just go on record here and state my overarching bias: I am pro-panda. And I am not ashamed to say it. I AM ALL ABOUT PANDAS. PRIMARILY BECAUSE THEY ARE CUTE.

And here is the deal, Mr. Chris Packham--and others--I will be more than happy to advocate for pandas based solely upon that reason. Period. So there. As a matter of fact, I will sit on your Endangered Species Death Panel right now and take a look at the entire freaking list of animals and decide who gets to stick around and who doesn't based entirely upon cuteness.
For those of you who wish to play along, here is the link, complete with pictures.

Okay, first of all, you can eliminate all bugs. That part is easy. No bugs. Bug Lovers out there, save your breath. You will never win me over. Butterflies do not count as a bug. Entomologists, please do not try to tell me the exact definition of "bug." Don't care.

Now, here is my list of animals that get to stay merely because of Cuteness. Oh, sure, there may be other reasons for animals to stay, but these are the ones I'm saving with my Expertise In The Field Of Cuteness.


1. Black-eared mantella frog
2. Fergusson Island striped possum
3. Caspian seal
4. Banteng (because it looks like a cow!)
5. Red panda
6. Galapagos penguin
7. Shoebill
8. African penguin
9. Sun bear
10. Madagascan gecko
11. Nectophrynoides viviparus frog
12. Channel Islands fox
13. Corroborree Frog
14. Crowned sifaka lemur
15. Harlequin frog
16. Blue poison frog
17. Polar bear
18. Abbot's Booby

Okay. That last one is just because the name is cute. And I realized as I was looking through these poor, endangered critters that I am heavily Anti-Snake. And also not too Fish Sympathetic, either.

And that we are saving a lot of ugly animals.

Which is fine, really. Everything has its place in the Circle of Life. Even Mr. Chris Peckham, naturalist and BBC personality, who is also president of Britain's Bat Conservation Trust (and I am showing a ton of restraint here).


  1. C'mon, Nance, add the Grey-Faced Sengi! How cute is that? The fabulous Tazmanian Devil! (Okay, he's immortalized in cartoons, but still.) The Tree-Hole Crab. I love the idea of a tree climbing crab. And, that beautiful tarantula had better not be on your list of "bugs." Because they're awesome arachnids, not six-legged bugs!

    I completely agree with the rest of your list, though. Sun bears! Pengies! And ALL frogs, absolutely, except maybe if the Cane Frog were to become endangered, which a lot of people in Australia wish it would.

    There. The childhood entymologist has spoken.

  2. Possums? I'll admit that picture is dang cute, but I've seen one playing possum, and they're scarey as hell looking.

    What a sad world we live in sometimes, huh? That any animals can be considered disposable? Or people, for that matter.

    I was thinking the other day of how useful flies are. They eat shit. And I mean that literally. Also, after my dog poops and I have to go inside to get a bag to clean it up with, they show me where it was. Helpful suckers, huh? One more reason you don't want them in your house, though. They may have been on my dog's shit.

  3. Nancy6:18 PM


    J@JJ's remarks about flies is one of the reasons I keep showing up here. You wouldn't see that remark on any other site and it's a riot.

    And Sputnik has the right idea about the Tazmanian Devil. He's not a bad kid despite his name. He just got in with the wrong crowd.

    As I used to plead to my kid's Principal,"Give him one more chance, PULEEZE!!!!!!

    And, finally, my last appeal to your good nature. Spare the Panthera Leo.He looks a lot like Glenn Beck.He has suffered enough.
    Talk about getting in with the wrong crowd!

  4. Nancy--You are correct; I have THE BEST COMMENTERS EVER! But I am firm in my selections. The Tasmanian Devil is simply NOT CUTE ENOUGH. And since when is looking like a republican a-hole an endorsement here at the Dept? LOL.

    j@jj--Jules, that is a STRIPED possum. regular possum are hideous. but that one is fashionably cute. admit it. and your Case For Flies, albeit comprehensive, fails to move me. i'm swatting.

    sputnik--i have to admit, that little orangey crab ALMOST made the list. it was close. but the rest of Your List? nope. NOT CUTE ENOUGH. thank goodness it's ME on the panel and not you. you'd let any old beastie draw breath and we'd be overrun with bugs and crawlies and all those uglies. (hypothetically speaking, of course.)

  5. Nance, swat away, esp if they're in your house! Remember where they may have been. Uck. I was following the flies to my dog's poop the other day, and though, Oh, how handy....even though they're nowhere near endangered, your post reminded me of it. :)

  6. I have to speak up for all the big cats under threat--Fishing Cat, Iberian Lynx, African Lion, and Cheetah. They're not just cute, they're gorgeous! And I want to save the Ring-Tailed Lemur!

    I am impressed by the frog-love you have! I love all those bright colored little guys too.

  7. jenomena--while I do find myself with a great affection for most cats, I find those listed to be more lovely and admirable than "CUTE." Therefore, they will have to be saved by a different Expert, as I am bound only by my Expertise In Cuteness. I did pause a nanosecond at the ringtailed lemur, but found that it was only because i found it "interesting" and not "CUTE."

    I, too, was surprised at how CUTE all the frogs were. There was no doubt about it. they were overwhelmingly CUTE.

  8. Anyone who thinks the Giant Panda is not worth saving has not met Tian-Tian, our cutie at the National Zootie. And I'm all in favor of saving all of those critters on your list, especially that Booby thing.

  9. Bugs Bunny hated the Tasmanian Devil. Can I trust his judgement?

  10. Can't sleep at night. Have not been cute since I was four. See my future. Watching my back.

  11. V--You are not on the list. Sleep well.

    apathy lounge--do you really want to trust the judgement of a cross-dressing, sneering, sometimes stuttery rabbit? up to you.

    Melissa B.--"that Booby thing" is now my new favorite phrase.

  12. I saw some of those frogs at the National Zoo in August. They are very cute, even though they can be so deadly. I like fish, but don't think of them as animals that much ... silly I suppose. I tolerate harmless snakes out in the wild fairly well, but I never think of them as cute, so excluding them makes sense. Polar bears are only cute as cubs in commercials and as stuffed animals. Otherwise, I look at them and think DEATH. They are worth saving for sure, but cute is not usually the description that comes to mind for me. Boobies are all cute just by virtue of their name. I am not familiar with Mr. Chris Peckham ... see, I just don't watch enough tv (or good tv anyway).


  13. Shirley--Oh, I wasn't familiar with CP either until this article, and now I'd just as soon forget him! I still think all sizes of polar bears are cute, primarily because they are white and so floppy-looking. I know they are dangerous and deadly, but come ON. Just look at their big, floppy feet. Too cute.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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