Think you know pandas? Well, think again. A new book from Square Peg publishers reveals a raft of unexpected facts about the lovable black-and white bears…
For example, did you know that if a panda gets struck by lightning, its black hair turns white and its white hair black? A spread from the book shown above reveals this affliction. These bears are known to pandologists as negative pandas.
Another fact revealed by the book is that at the height of the cold war, American Special Forces deployed six robot pandas equipped with advanced surveillance equipment into the forest of eastern China to spy on rural military bases (image of one of the robot pandas shown above). Apparently half of these robo-bears were shot by commercial poachers in the first week of deployment. The others were adopted by a cupboard of real pandas, and based on readings from tracking devices, were still roaming the forests until their batteries wore out in 1998.
Pandas have no fingerprints. This is believed to be why they are used as accomplices in many jewel and bank robberies. International law enforcement agencies arrest around 700 pandas every year.
Despite this bad reputation, until 1982 it was legal for infertile couples in Great Britain to formally adopt pandas. The spread above shows Mimi Laurence at home with her son Jeff.
The book also offers advice in the event of a panda attack. As the images above show, the following procedure should be followed: 1. Wrap the animal’s torso in a towel or blanket so its front legs are bound to its body. 2. Slap it hard across the face. 3. Deliver the animal to the authorities.
Clearly a vital addition to any library, 100 Facts About Pandas is written by David O’Doherty (who won the if.comedy award (formerly Perrier Award) at last year’s Edinburgh Festival), Claudia O’Doherty and Mike Ahern. More info on the book is here.