Such is the fate of Butterstick, the panda taken from his “home” in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on February 5 of this year by the government of China, as he was only on loan. Consider him a warm-up for all those U.S. dollars, I guess.
Tom Scocca reports today that Butterstick—now known by his official birth name, Tai Shen (邰赦嗯, y/n?)—was put on a strict regime to lose his fat tummy and gain strength and muscle mass. He also had to learn “Chinese” (they do not specify which dialect, but as his new home, the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, is in Sichuan province, one might suppose he now understands southwestern Mandarin).
Since arriving in China, the panda formerly known as Butterstick gained 20 kilos on a diet of bamboo, carrots, apple slices, and panda cakes. Good luck, Tai Shen; may your life be long and happy, and your offspring be healthy and plentiful.
Or maybe we should wish that humans stop being assholes about bamboo forests so that pandas can go back to living in the actual world, instead of zoos and preservation centers. But you know, whatever works.
∞ posted at 14:31 by time-for-naps