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Posted Tue Sep 22 2009: from
Let the panda die out 'with dignity', says BBC expert Chris Packham
The zoologist, who has replaced Bill Oddie as a presenter on BBC's Springwatch, risked criticism from wildlife conservationists in an interview with the Radio Times in which he describes the giant panda as a "T-shirt animal" on which too much conservation money is wasted. "Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species," he said. "Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into into panda conservation. "I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity."... He added: "Chris has taken an irresponsible position. Pandas face extinction because of poaching and human pressures on their habitat. They have adapted to the area in which they live and if left alone, they function perfectly well. "However, he is right in his assertion that we must secure habitat in order to protect endangered species. This is exactly what we work to achieve in the case of the giant panda.
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