Out with the humans, in with the pandas!
Last year, China announced that it was planning to create a giant national park for pandas. As plans continue to progress with the panda park, Sichuan’s provincial forestry department has announced that 172,000 people will need to be relocated to make way for all the adorable black-and-white bundles of uselessness.
Earlier this month, the central government gave its approval for the 27,134-square-kilometer park which will cover parts of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.
Thanks to the millions and millions of dollars spent researching pandas, watching them have sex and even masturbate, the animal has managed to avoid extinction and has been staging something of a comeback, getting pulled off the endangered species list last year. A 2014 survey estimated that the number of pandas in the wild has grown to at least 1,864, an increase from around 1,100 in 2000.
This panda park is actually just one part of an noteworthy effort by China to completely redesign its system of national parks. Instead of a haphazard system of national reserves and provincial parks, China is planning over 20 national parks in its latest five-year plan. To kick off this effort, state media has announced the development of four national parks that will be centered around a single endangered species: pandas, Asian elephants, Tibetan antelope, and tigers and leopards.
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