When we were in China, I always had the feeling that when we weren't around the locals would turn into pandas by night. Wouldn't Ailuropoda melanoleucanthropy, i.e. werepandaism (the former technical term having been coined by me, just now!), be pretty awesome? The answer is yes, it would. That's not what's going on here, but it is also pretty awesome:
This is how researchers are interacting with the panda cubs, so as to not habituate them to people, as they get ready to release them into the wild. I guess that's better than letting us gweilos, or Japanese tourists, run wild in the baby panda enclosures. (Or let's say it's more scientifically responsibility, because in my view there is nothing better than Japanese girls covered in pandas, or being so covered oneself.) My question: is there a chance that this technique will just habituate the little critters to people dressed like pandas? I hope this doesn't affect the people-panda program. Or maybe next time we trek to Sichuan, we will have to wear the suits ourselves, which I wouldn't mind (for obvious reasons).