The Year of the Monkey was yet another banner year for pandakind, full of amazing achievements and impossibly cute moments for China’s most adorable and awkward form of soft power.
10) Wild panda rescued by helpful humans after falling into raging river
Pandas continue to refuse to go gently into that good night with one wild panda in Sichuan province fighting his way out of a raging river before being helped out of danger by some kind humans with a tranquilizer gun.
9) ‘Panda bus’ pops up in Chengdu!
Featuring an absolutely adorable black-and-white design, panda-eye headlights and even a cuddly conductor, this is absolutely the cutest thing on four wheels. Unfortunately, much like actual pandas, it doesn’t actually go anywhere or really do anything.
8) An army of pandas has taken over Thailand’s Grand Palace
In an overt display of “panda diplomacy” back in March, 1600 adorable paper pandas occupied the square outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace. However, their coup was apparently unsuccessful.
7) Baby panda auditions for role in Kung Fu Panda 4
In case DreamWords ever decides to add a live-action edition to its extremely successful Kung Fu Panda franchise, this young panda cub is certainly poised for superstardom.
6) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cuddles up with baby pandas
On the day back in March that two giant panda cubs in Canada finally got their names, they also received a very special visitor — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
5) Retired school teacher turns panda poo into writing paper
Liu Xiaodong claims that his panda poo paper is even better than normal paper and hopes to pass down the technique for making it to future generations.
4) China plans to create a national park just for pandas
By this time in history, much of the rest of humanity may well have given up on pandas as worthless pieces of fur not worth saving, but China sure hasn’t. They are now planning an entire national park just for the adorably helpless critters.
3) American-born pandas return to China, struggle with adapting to local language, food
Like many of us coming to China for the first time, Mei Lun and Mei Huan are having difficulties adapting to the strange language and food, so different from what they grew up with in the United States.
2) Hundreds of thousands tune in to watch live broadcasts of pandas getting it on
Yet again this year, iPanda attempted to demystify the complex process that is panda breeding, while also giving viewers a glimpse into the difficult job of panda research by live-streaming hours-long videos of pandas wandering around, featuring a few brief minutes of hardcore action.
1) Giant pandas are no longer endangered, China not pleased
All those tireless man-hours spent watching pandas have sex and masturbate finally paid off this year when the International Union for Conservation of Nature announced that the iconic animal had been reclassified from an “endangered” to a “vulnerable” species. However, Chinese officials weren’t as happy about the historic moment as you’d expect.
WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS…
Check out last year’s top moments here.