The International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the status of the giant panda from “endangered” to “vulnerable” after determining there were 1,864 pandas in the wild, an increase from 1,596 ten years earlier. 

 

Welcome back the Giant Panda!

Poster bear of propaganda.

Raise the flag! Strike up the band! A

Bear with thumbs but not a hand. A

Species making its last stand. A

Thing for once that went as planned! Ah–

If you see a Giant Panda,

On your deck or your verandah

Get out your camera, iPhone and a

Plate of bamboo, fresh or canned. A

Victory for conservation!

By the entire Chinese nation!

Overcoming threats of poaching

Roads and villages encroaching

On their forest habitat

Just too bad we can’t say that

About the lesser stick-necked rat,

The Wondiwoi tree kangaroo

Or the Christmas Island shrew

While the forest elephants

Do their slow extinction dance–

There’s one panda, ripe for seeing

Per four million human beings.

 

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