There’s been some discussion about whether or not pandas should go extinct. To those who have encountered and worked with pandas personally, pandas lead tedious, boring lives, don’t have much interest in sex and are a waste of money.
This is ironically the same money needed to preserve other animals like the functionally extinct Baiji dolphin, the Chinese Giant Salamander and the historically far more important Chinese alligator. The Baiji dolphin was recorded as early as 200 B.C.E. and the Chinese alligator is said to have inspired the Chinese dragon.
The Chinese alligator/dragon is also an animal that many emperors claimed to have descended from, said to manipulate weather and reside in rivers. Alligators breathe water vapour and live in rivers and lakes so it shouldn’t be so surprising, helped by the fact that China’s civilisation is built on rivers.
Due to rapid industrialisation and getting overlooked by the frankly useless panda, not too many people cared about them. It should be noted that even before the Baiji dolphin went extinct, people were cloning it and that Chinese alligators are being bred in captivity. There are even some people who want to preserve and save the Giant Salamander from being made into meat.
George Schaller, a panda biologist, said that pandas are perfectly symbolic animals. In person, they don’t do much and are so lethargic they don’t bother climbing. They spend their day eating and sleeping. They also appear to be bad parents.
In a better world, people would have taken river dolphins, Chinese alligators and giant salamanders priority over pandas as they might be more valuable, useful and even interesting in the long run.
Pandas are interesting to look at but in the long run they’re a waste of money and are boring.