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,
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.