Sometimes, Scientists are Furries (photo)

RTXVG33.jpg A researcher dressed in a panda costume puts a panda cub into a box before its physical examination at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan province.

The 4-month old cub, the first in the center to be trained for reintroduction into the wild, is monitored by hidden cameras. Researchers performing physical examinations on the cub wear panda costumes to ensure that the cub's environment is devoid of human influence, according to local media.

Here's a related story in the UK paper Telegraph.

(Picture taken December 3, 2010. REUTERS)


  1. apparently the influence of evil, scowling pandas who abduct you and put you into small containers is considered harmless.

  2. Twice a week after work, I put on a totally realistic bear costume and hang out in the park. I don’t scare anyone. I sit around in the bushes, root around for berries. Once I pushed on a camper. You know, bear kind of stuff.

    1. Do you hang out in Woodbury and Cottage Grove? It would be cooler if it was you and not real bears. :)

      Even though it’s pretty cool in and of itself that we get the occasional bear on this side of town, and that they are so well behaved.

      The article is like a king-sized version of feeding baby California Condors with hand puppets.

      1. “Cheap” and “quality” do not go hand in hand. A typical fursuit (or animal costume) of any quality starts at around $1,000 and goes up for complexity.

  3. Next, the costumed human teaches the young panda about “good touch” and “bad touch,” and then the real zoologist and some security guards rush in and drag him away.

    * * *

    How soon until we start getting awkwardly composed spam for cheap imported furry suits? (“For approved as aid young animal handling exclusively.”)

  4. I bet that panda cub got put in the box for refusing to eat the cheese!

    Even panda shouldn’t say no to another panda!

  5. ‘devoid of human influence’?

    By ‘influence’ we’re excluding how the researcher would smell to the panda? Pandas have a lousy sense of smell? The costume smells like another panda?

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. The sense of smell is so much more powerful in many mammals than in humans. Is the panda cub really being fooled, or just confused?

  6. Before you continue with the “pedobear” comments, i’d like to remind you guys that there are quite a few ACTUAL scientists out there who are furries.

    I know of a robotocist, an intern Geneticist, a Zoologist, at least two general science degree graduates, and a physicist who worked at CERN on the Large Hadron Collider(By the name of Higgs, natch)!

    And those are just the ones who live in Australia. :P

    So be nice! You don’t want a cadre of fuzzy mad scientists taking over the world, do you? :P

  7. I feel a small bit of satisfaction knowing that we furs may have ruined animal costumes forever for a lot of people.

    At least now you’ll just have to either deal with it and realize we aren’t freaks, just people with weird hobbies, or you’ll have to just keep on dealing with furry jokes and being freaked out every time like its something “new”, your choice mayn, your choice.

    1. Hear, here! Personally, I’d love to put on my tiger suit and go watch some real tigers — just watch. Even playing with them, I’d get munched on! Alas, some dreams must stay dreams.

  8. Isn’t it obvious to the baby panda, due to the potent non-panda smells coming from the synthetic fiber suit and the person’s bare hand holding the panda that the person is very clearly not a panda?

  9. I knew there was a reason that I should have been a zoologist instead of a biochemist. Fuzzy bear costumes!!!

  10. Must…resist…South Park reference…GAH! The resistance! It burns!

    Seriously, though, that is a darn cute panda and a VERY well-constructed costume. Double thumbs up. ^.^

  11. This is so great. Then the wild panda will just sit around, not wanting to walk as it will expect to be carried by other pandas in plastic boxes – walking on their hind legs.

  12. I believe it is scientifically proven that furry mammal infants are comforted by a caretaker with fur even if something is a little off about it.

  13. Wouldn’t that container they are putting that panda bear in be considered “human influence”? I’m pretty sure they don’t have those in the wild.

  14. The point of the panda costume is so that the real pandas do not get use to humans. It’s not supposed to fool the baby pandas into thinking that they were real pandas. They could have been dressed as trees.

    The real question is why aren’t they dressed as Spongebob. It’s got to be a lot easier to make that costume. :)

  15. I wore complete Pink Panther suite for a parade once (no, not that kind of parade) I wonder if I could work in a zoo?

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