I think pandas are the most fascinating creatures on earth. More than whales. More than the elusive giant squid. More than a group of guys out on a Friday night looking for hook-ups. I figure if pandas are a critically endangered species, that could possibly be God's way of saying, "Hey... I screwed up. I've done it before, look at the platypus. No re-do on this one... the panda's pretty much a goner."
Why? It's not because pandas have entered the world of professional panda wrestling. It's because other than poaching, they just can't... um... do the wild thing.
Apparently, and it's highly documented on the Internet, pandas are cute even after last call but are not so good at the actual "hooking up" part. A bamboo dinner by candlelight, a bit of nuzzling, and a roll in the shrubbery, but that's about it for most panda couples. Breeding programs actually use (cover the kids' eyes RIGHT NOW) panda porn and Viagra to seal the deal, but it's not easy. I think it's simply a case of picky pandas, like some friends of mine. I can picture a panda saying, "Uh UH. No way. Not interested. I'd rather go back to China and chase down my own bamboo than get with HER. She's got mascara circles around her eyes and stinky, dirty feet. NOPE. Not gonna happen..." You get the idea.
Here's my suggested breeding program. Make two compatible pandas sit down with their mother-in-laws separately, groomed neatly and with a sprig of fresh bamboo as a peace offering. [Tell the MILs in advance that it's either now or never... explain the whole critically endangered thing.] Give the MILs fresh bamboo as a bribe. The pandas will be pleasantly surprised at the MILs sweet smile and gifts, and reluctantly agree to give the thing with Ming Ming another try because heck, they are both not as bad as his panda friends told him last night and it could get worse. He'll think about his friend Soon-Yee and his MIL... she beat him with a shovel...
We all know that with a little bribery and educated third-party intervention, things will work out and the panda population will get back to the point where millions of Chinese can poach them again and sell their pelts on handbags on Canal Street for $99.
It's God's little way of keeping the universe AND the economy in balance, and fashionistas in something new and controversially fresh each season.