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British Conservationist: Let Pandas Die


Chris Packham, a British conservationist, photographer, and TV presenter, has angered the World Wildlife Fund for remarks that the world should give up on the Panda species and let them die out because they're stuck in an "evolutionary cul-de-sac".

Said Packham: "Pandas are my frequent whipping boy. Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species. Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation. I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity."

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  1. Wow! A member of the Panda Death Panel speaks up. Shame it was pin-headed arrogant humans that destroyed panda's natural habit.

    Posted by: Rad | Sep 24, 2009 12:27:32 PM

  2. Chris Packham clearly doesn't understand how evolution works.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 24, 2009 12:43:47 PM

  3. Species go extinct. That's what they do. Ours will - in time. To parrot George Carlin, "Let them go gracefully. Leave nature alone. Haven't we done enough?"

    Posted by: Jordan | Sep 24, 2009 12:44:51 PM

  4. Say it to my big, cute face, bitch!

    Posted by: Giant Panda | Sep 24, 2009 12:45:56 PM

  5. There are lots of (endangered)animals who have evolved to live in one place and/or consume one kind of food. If you want to call that an "evolutionary cul-de-sac" fine, but the panda is not alone...and I don't see the point of singling it out. Especially considering that most creatures in danger of extinction are in danger because of humanity's influence on their ecosystems.

    Posted by: JSH | Sep 24, 2009 12:53:30 PM

  6. Um Mike, clearly YOU dont. The Panda is crap, it only eats one thing, it doesnt breed well, even in the wild, and it cant handle much change in any way. Humans are a part of nature like any other species, we pushed it out, so be it, it happens and always has happened throughout the history of life. If we never existed do you think the Panda would last forever?

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 24, 2009 12:54:19 PM

  7. He did apologize/clarify the comments almost immediately afterward...

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 24, 2009 12:57:39 PM

  8. What I find bizarre is someone who purports to be a scientist talking about how the pandas evolved "of their own accord." That's just gibberish. Evolution is not a goal-oriented process, and it's certainly not something that a species deliberately guides in one direction or another. It's bad enough that he uses this utterly unscientific construction, but he is doing it, it seems, to suggest that somehow the panda is at "fault" and therefore "deserves" to go extinct. When really, it is Mr. Packham's career that deserves to.

    Posted by: Glenn | Sep 24, 2009 12:58:08 PM

  9. THIS is why pandas will forever be "recycled":

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Sep 24, 2009 1:04:09 PM

  10. No the Panda isnt at fault, but its still crap. Its a dead end to be so delicate. What difference does it make if we kill it off, or a comet, or a super volcano, or a natural ice age? Delusional eco-warriors seem to think the world would be a happy fluffy place if only we weren't here, think again.. Ultimately the panda is doomed with or without us, so why try to artificially preserve an evolutionary dead end?

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 24, 2009 1:04:12 PM

  11. that's odd -- that's how i feel about british sex tours in morocco. nonetheless, i like that quote today andy -- perfect -- it reminds me of how depressing things can be in weho and the castro much as either are reeking with tolerance. yet, in the caravan of fleas, with benefit of the doubt, their hospitality may be limited. thanks.

    Posted by: richard | Sep 24, 2009 1:13:29 PM

  12. What an idiot!
    Conservation is about bell-weather species. A canary in a cage shows us when the pollution has reached critical mass!

    Pandas are like that with the ecosystems they inhabit. They are a large and obvious symbol of the crash of many species. medicinal plants, bugs and other critters are dieing out before we know it and the panda is an easy way to gauge the disaster unfolding.

    If he missed that in science class then he needs to go back to school.

    Posted by: Jason | Sep 24, 2009 1:15:22 PM

  13. Rovex, how do we get you on the extinct fast track?

    Posted by: Raoul | Sep 24, 2009 1:22:54 PM

  14. Sean:

    By what basis would you call that an apology or a clarification? This is one of this bullshit "sorry the genuinely awful thing I did offended somebody even though I stand by it" apologies.

    Shame on you for treating it as anything other than self-serving, insincere damage control.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Sep 24, 2009 1:39:56 PM

  15. Come on - he's only being honest. Pandas are a lost cause. The massive ecological damage caused by China's industrial fascists is something not even the rest of the world put together can fix. It's natural progression - the world changes - species die - species mutate. Nothing stays the same - not even "cute" animals are immune to annihilation. Guess what - people die too. Get over it.

    Posted by: Donovan | Sep 24, 2009 1:48:32 PM

  16. Even if man did not exist, pandas have evolved to such a narrow niche that it is a dead end. I can't recall which episode it was, but Planet Earth does a segment on Pandas - they're really pitiful creatures - upon seeing that section, it's clear that they're on a downward spiral.

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 24, 2009 2:01:08 PM

  17. to Packham.. speaking for the world's panda population.. 'FUCK YU'

    Posted by: Jake | Sep 24, 2009 2:02:29 PM

  18. "Pandas are a lost cause."

    Yeah, the human being "invests" millions on armament, wars, genetically modified product research and other so called science advances, cant they just save the damn animal if we all really wanted to.

    "It's natural progression"

    Its not natural progression if the human being is direct responsible for that extinction. There are at least a billion people in China...that is NOT natural preogression.

    Posted by: Felix | Sep 24, 2009 2:07:24 PM

  19. 90% of life on the earth has been destroyed at least twice, so why should we care about the panda? Be honest now, the only reason to prevent any species from going extinct is purely a selfish one. You arent doing 'life' as a whole any favours whatsoever. Conservation is actually anti-evolutionary, extinction is good for diversity in the long run, especially mass extinction. I see the true long term picture, not a short term one, any honest scientist agrees.

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 24, 2009 2:10:37 PM

  20. The dead-end species, left to its own devices, would still beat the shit out of Packham were he left to fend for himself in their diminished habitat.

    Posted by: Jerry | Sep 24, 2009 2:10:55 PM

  21. Rovex
    The panda may be doomed eventually, but so is every species on the planet, including humans.Most of the species that have existed have gone extinct, but that doesn't make it right for us to destroy a species. We have caused one of the biggest mass extinction events in the history of the planet. I think it is our moral duty to undo as much damage as we can.
    Donovan said "people die too,get over it." So I guess we should just close all the hospitals and fire all the doctors. That would seem to be the attitude you are endorsing. People die, so why try to keep them alive?

    Posted by: shivadog | Sep 24, 2009 2:21:40 PM

  22. We have NOT caused any mass extinctions at all. Dont you understand what mass extinction is?? Estimates put our influence on extinction at less than 0.001% of species.

    There is no non-emotional reason to preserve a species artificially unless that species is beneficial to us materially. Other species cause other species to go extinct, thats how it works, why are we suddenly wrong for doing the same thing every species does? Because we have the ability to worry about it? Oh please.

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 24, 2009 2:28:49 PM

  23. Any species that eats shoots and leaves needs more stamina, and thus extinction should be an option!!!

    Posted by: carter | Sep 24, 2009 2:34:11 PM

  24. How about we pull the plug on British conservationists, who are also photographers, and TV presenters? Don't support them. Let THEM go the way of the dinosaurs. I am sure the Pandas have brought more to this world than said TV personage... And in a much cuter way.

    Posted by: Reggie | Sep 24, 2009 2:41:36 PM

  25. @ ROVEX
    So tell me Rovex, how do you know what life will be like 50 million years from now? How do you know what animals will be “beneficial to us materially” and which will not in 20 or 50 million years from now. Nearly every animal’s ancestor (ours included) is considered extinct, but fortunately for us these ancestors had time to evolve into the species we have today. Since you seem know all that is going to happen on this planet - that will continue to exist for many hundreds of millions of years – please tell us what the pandas will be like if they are given the chance to evolve.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Sep 24, 2009 3:12:51 PM

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