Pandas, or as they’re known to New Englanders, “Panders,” are truly a jewel of the natural world. It’s a shame these beautiful creatures have had such a fight to thrive, but their downgrade from “endangered” to “vulnerable” is an encouraging sign they’ll be around much, much longer. They’re such gentle, playful souls, as anyone who’s had the opportunity to observe them will attest to. Just like us humans, they enjoy a bit of good-natured roughhousing as well.
Two pandas wrestle around on a jungle gym inside their habitat.
One of the pandas seems to be struggling to escape as the instigator pulls him or her down, a classic struggle between siblings. As they push against each other, the connecting slide begins to loosen. It would seem the zoo handyman wasn’t quite as thorough as one would like him to be (or the playground contraption was not meant to withstand the weight of two whole panda bears, either or).
Once there’s that initial give, these two adorable cuddle bugs have punched their one way ticket to “ker-plunk” city. And lemme tell ya: there ain’t no refunds!
That was quite a spill! But worry not; these two panda pals are A-OK!
Just like with people, a little roughhousing here and there is good for panda development. It promotes bonding between the creatures, and helps with their evolution, allowing their bodies to better differentiate between what’s appropriate contact and what’s going too far. At least that’s how it is with humans, and we’re all mammals, right?
Fun Fact: Red Pandas, though also donning the “panda” moniker, aren’t pandas at all! It is more closely related to skunks, raccoons, and weasels than it is to the black and white, or Giant, panda. Who knew?
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