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article imageConfessions Of A Frustrated Giant Panda Finally Filmed

By Michelle Duffy     Jun 8, 2008 in World
If there has ever been an animal on this Earth who has had to endure a very public sex life, it has to be the Giant Panda. Despite the fact that this animal seems to rarely "get it on," the reasons why have now been revealed.
Okay, so they have now made yet another documentary of what actually separates mankind from animal, or at least, in this case - what is actually incredibly similar. The BBC have come up with yet another painful programme which highlights the pros and cons of being a humble, common or garden, Giant Panda, and in this case - the chaps at the Beeb have literally left no stone unturned.
The whole thing has been filmed. In human terms it would be the equivalent of first meet to no phone call, to being seen drunk out with his mates, to first date six months later, to first snog, then a quick romp which involves pants around the ankles and upright in a parent's wardrobe, (or so I have been told) yet in Panda terms, it means a "no holes barred" sequence of whats has been described as a "boisterous beginning to a noisy ending," the sex life of the Giant Panda is not caught on camera and uncomfortable viewing, it can only be.
The the good old, Beeb, the Natural History team have created for BBC Two, the two part documentary called "Wild China" and have beautifully captured these "magic moments" somewhere which was previously rather secluded but now, laid bare in the bamboo forests of China's Qinling mountains. Like in human terms, a guy trying to get a date with a honey is not always easy and why should it be any different if you're a 25 stone Giant Panda? Even in the heart of the lush forests, the guy still has to fight off a couple of lads from the block to get his girl.
It has been regarded by the BBC team as being the type of behaviour you would not find in an ordinary zoo, and not surprising, this is normally the part when the pair of fruity Pandas retreat into their sudo-mock plastic/concrete honeymoon suite and then are dutifully hollered at by every other species in the zoo in the hope to put the male off - this, as we all know, usually works.
Yet we see a different side to the perils of the horny male Giant Panda - he even finds comfort from the other male hopefuls by hiding half way up a rather tall tree. He even tries to impress the female with certain tricks and talents he has considered may be well suited for the art of chatting up - we are told that the Giant Panda goes about making loud noises which sound uncannily like a Wookie from Star Wars. (You see girls, they will even try it in the animal world - how deluded the male race are!)
Told perfectly by Gavin Maxwell, the producer of the series, Wild China,
I liken it to Chewbaccas in a pub brawl. Most of the time, pandas live by themselves. It's only in the mating season that they come together; and that's when they start these extraordinary vocalisations. The sounds are so unlikely and just the last thing you would expect a panda to make. When you get two or three males together with a female there's an awful lot of barking and shouting going on.
Naturally the two-part film took months to record, including talking very sweetly to the Chinese authorities for actually letting the film crew get into certain areas of the mountainous range which has never been done before.
The range is a peculiar place and very much like nothing elsewhere on Earth. Sound travels incredibly quickly across the forest. Even bamboo grows so thick that it is hard to see daylight through it, let alone a frustrated Panda. The creatures may be enormous but they are likened to a rabbit caught in the headlights if you get too close. In fact, the BBC team came up with the idea of the animals being rather like mini quad bikes.
Mr Maxwell explains,
They're like mini-quad bikes and once they go, they're off and they're very hard to keep up with...
Of course, as we have said, it 's not the first time we have seen a couple of heavyweight Panda's getting it on in the middle of a forest. As Mr Maxwell went on,
"Occasionally, you will be sitting there quietly trying to keep in the background and the males will suddenly come charging out of the bamboo towards you. They're really fired up, they're breathing hard and panting, and you can see the steam coming out of their mouths. They seem like different creatures altogether."
If kind of makes you wonder if Darwin was right about the Apes bit at all....
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