PDA

View Full Version : Panda poop paper yields big profits


drake3781
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:56 AM
Panda poop paper yields big profits
CHIANG MAI, Thailand - There's the Panda Express fast-food chain. Jing Jing, a mascot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The forthcoming animated movie, Kung Fu Panda. Even a Mexican rock band named after the cuddly bear.

Not to be outdone, Thailand has come up with yet another, seemingly unlikely way to capitalize on this globally loved, bamboo-munching animal panda poop.

When keepers of the country's panda couple Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui got tired of disposing the 55 pounds of feces daily produced by the duo, Prasertsak Buntragulpoontawee came up with the idea of turning it all into notebooks, fans, bookmarks and key chains.

"At first the Chinese were very skeptical," says the head of Chiang Mai Zoo's panda unit, referring to the proprietary attitude China takes toward its iconic animal.

But the multicolored paper products have proved hot selling-items at the zoo, with the 300,000 baht (US $8,200) earned to date helping balance the accounts of panda keeping.

The Thai government pays $250,000 a year to China's Wulong Panda Research Institute to rent the pandas, who, depending on the weather, reside in either a $1 million air-conditioned cage or an extensive, fan-cooled outdoor enclosure ringed by a mini-replica of China's Great Wall.

Panda poop paper production involves a daylong process of cleaning the feces, boiling it in a soda solution, bleaching it with chlorine and drying it under the sun. Experimentation continues on how to reduce the chemicals now used.

Prasertsak says he was inspired by sa paper, or mulberry leaf paper, a traditional, local product which has proved a highly popular gift item in recent years.

"We tried selling it on markets outside but so far with not so much success," he says. "But in the zoo, when people see real pandas and then their product they're excited and buy."

====================

Thai members, if you can find a link that shows the various products, I would like to see it.

Maybe you can make a little money sending this to any members in the US who want it, for ex. I might want to buy some, and a lot of people in the US love pandas.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:50 AM
Panda poop paper yields big profits
CHIANG MAI, Thailand - There's the Panda Express fast-food chain. Jing Jing, a mascot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The forthcoming animated movie, Kung Fu Panda. Even a Mexican rock band named after the cuddly bear.

Not to be outdone, Thailand has come up with yet another, seemingly unlikely way to capitalize on this globally loved, bamboo-munching animal panda poop.

When keepers of the country's panda couple Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui got tired of disposing the 55 pounds of feces daily produced by the duo, Prasertsak Buntragulpoontawee came up with the idea of turning it all into notebooks, fans, bookmarks and key chains.

"At first the Chinese were very skeptical," says the head of Chiang Mai Zoo's panda unit, referring to the proprietary attitude China takes toward its iconic animal.

But the multicolored paper products have proved hot selling-items at the zoo, with the 300,000 baht (US $8,200) earned to date helping balance the accounts of panda keeping.

The Thai government pays $250,000 a year to China's Wulong Panda Research Institute to rent the pandas, who, depending on the weather, reside in either a $1 million air-conditioned cage or an extensive, fan-cooled outdoor enclosure ringed by a mini-replica of China's Great Wall.

Panda poop paper production involves a daylong process of cleaning the feces, boiling it in a soda solution, bleaching it with chlorine and drying it under the sun. Experimentation continues on how to reduce the chemicals now used.

Prasertsak says he was inspired by sa paper, or mulberry leaf paper, a traditional, local product which has proved a highly popular gift item in recent years.

"We tried selling it on markets outside but so far with not so much success," he says. "But in the zoo, when people see real pandas and then their product they're excited and buy."

====================

Thai members, if you can find a link that shows the various products, I would like to see it.

Maybe you can make a little money sending this to any members in the US who want it, for ex. I might want to buy some, and a lot of people in the US love pandas.

what is with understatements these days!! we LOVE pandas. pandas are in america despite the $250,000 per bear per year fee, a great money maker for american zoos. of course the money just goes back to paying the fee an keep the bamboo munching bears fat and happy.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:53 AM
and is a panda thread without panda pics, a baby panda a few weeks and her mommy play and cuddle

http://www.wsbtv.com/2006/1102/10220218_240X180.jpg

quasar
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:09 AM
Panda poop paper yields big profits
What's next? Panda's pee being reprocessed into beer?

(I can just imagine 3 cute pandas saying: "Bud-weis-er")

:)

Cheers,

Carlos

drake3781
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:35 AM
What's next? Panda's pee being reprocessed into beer?

(I can just imagine 3 cute pandas saying: "Bud-weis-er")

:)

Cheers,

Carlos


But it makes sense... it is digested bamboo.

You've seen that homemade paper that has a lot of texture?

Note: 55 pounds a day for 2 animals; about 22 pounds a day each, is a LOT! They must really eat a lot of bamboo... at least twice that much, right?

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:41 AM
But it makes sense... it is digested bamboo.

You've seen that homemade paper that has a lot of texture?

Note: 55 pounds a day for 2 animals; about 22 pounds a day each, is a LOT! They must really eat a lot of bamboo... at least twice that much, right?

at least.

for this reason i would say it is closer to 3-4 times as much each:
Despite being taxonomically a carnivore, the panda has a diet that is primarily herbivorous, which almost exclusively consists of bamboo. This is an evolutionarily recent adaptation, or perhaps just a very awkward one; pandas lack the proper enzymes to digest bamboo efficiently, and thus derive little energy and little protein from it.

edit: they each eat 84 pounds of bamboo a day.

Wigglytuff
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:53 AM
looks like i was wrong on some points.

china overcharges american zoos asking for as much as 6 times what they ask other nations.

this in think is the reason there are no pandas in NYC's zoos. and it looks the Wildlife Conservation Society of NYC (which i am a member) has said no to giant pandas until the fees from china are brought down to within reason, and it looks like other zoos like san diego and atlanta will return the pandas if the fees stay as they are. this would be very very sad but i can understand their reasons.

Giant Pandas Eats Shoots, Leaves and Much of Zoos' Budgets

By BRENDA GOODMAN
Published: February 12, 2006

ATLANTA, Feb. 11 Lun Lun and Yang Yang have needs. They require an expensive all-vegetarian diet 84 pounds a day, each. They are attended by a four-person entourage, and both crave privacy. Would-be divas could take notes.

Zoo Atlanta signed a 10-year lease for Yang Yang, left, and Lun Lun.

Yang Yang, on display at the Atlanta zoo, has his bamboo brought in from backyards around the state.

But the real sticker shock comes from the annual fees that Zoo Atlanta must pay the Chinese government, $2 million a year, essentially to rent a pair of giant pandas. Giant pandas are also on loan to zoos in Washington, San Diego and Memphis.

The financial headache caused by the costly loan obligations to China has driven Dennis W. Kelly, chief executive of Zoo Atlanta, to join with the directors of the three other zoos to negotiate some budgetary breathing room. If no agreement with China can be made, Mr. Kelly said, the zoos may have to return their star attractions.

"If we can't renegotiate, they absolutely will go back," Mr. Kelly said. "Unless there are significant renegotiations, you'll see far fewer pandas in the United States at the end of this current agreement."

The San Diego Zoo's contract with China is the first to expire, in 2008. The last contract, at the Memphis Zoo, ends in 2013.

Mr. Kelly says Lun Lun and Yang Yang, Zoo Atlanta's giant pandas, are draining the zoo's coffers far faster than they can be replenished even though visitors flock to see them. And when people cannot make it through the gates, self-described pandaholics blog with doe-eyed ardor about the bears or stay glued to the zoos' panda Web cams.

Giant pandas are indisputably popular. Two months ago, the public snapped up 13,000 tickets to see Tai Shan, born at the National Zoo in Washington last July, in just two hours. Later that day the free tickets were being traded on eBay for as much as $200 each.

"People will get up in the middle of the night to see the pandas," said Don Lindburg, head of the office of giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. "I don't think there is a comparable animal. There isn't the enormity of response that you find with pandas."

But after the first year, crowds dwindle, while the expenses remain high. In fact, a panda's upkeep costs five times more than that of the next most expensive animal, an elephant.

A curator, three full-time keepers and one backup keeper care for Lun Lun and Yang Yang at Zoo Atlanta. A crew of six travels around Georgia six days a week, harvesting bamboo from 400 volunteers who grow it in their backyards. (Zoo Atlanta tried growing its own on a farm, as the Memphis Zoo does, but Lun Lun and Yang Yang turned up their noses.)

"It's crazy," Mr. Kelly said. "These bears, year-round, are some of the most pampered animals on the planet. We measure everything that goes in. We measure everything that goes out."

Then there are the contracts, most lasting 10 years. Because China retains ownership of the pandas, zoos lease each pair for $1 million a year. If cubs are born, the annual fee increases by an average of $600,000. In addition, each zoo has agreed to pay another million or so each year to finance research and conservation projects in the United States and in China. Taken together, Mr. Kelly says, the contracts are worth more than $80 million to the Chinese government.

Mr. Kelly said he hoped China would consider the request to reduce the fees because most other countries pay far less for their pandas. Australia and Thailand, he said, pay about $300,000 each year for theirs. So far, China seems amenable to considering it, he said. Chinese officials did not respond to requests for comment.

"There's a perception in China that U.S. zoos are very rich because when they come over, the zoos are beautiful," said Chuck Brady, the chief executive of the Memphis Zoo.

Zoos say they can break even on pandas, but only for the first few years.

"Year three is your break-even year," Mr. Brady said. The Memphis Zoo expects to lose about $300,000 per year on the pandas it leased in 2003. "After that, attendance drops off, and you start losing vast amounts of money. There is a resurgence in attendance when babies are born."

Because they have had cubs born, the San Diego Zoo and the National Zoo have fared better financially than Zoo Atlanta and the Memphis Zoo, which still have not had luck with their breeding programs.

"The general feeling on the American side is that when the initial negotiations were done 10 years ago, we had very little information on the impact of pandas on zoos," Mr. Brady said. "Now we're stuck with this template."

Apart from foot traffic, pandas also inspire valuable, enthusiastic corporate sponsorships. FedEx, for example, flew Ya Ya and Le Le, the pandas at the Memphis Zoo, to the United States from China in a decorated "Panda Express" plane. The public was able to track the flight on a designated FedEx Web site.

Fujifilm, Home Depot, UPS and others have donated millions to be sponsors of panda exhibits at zoos, hoping to solidify business relationships with China, which regards the animal as a national symbol.

Mr. Kelly said he expected the negotiations to progress slowly.

"They are listening. They are open. They have not responded to anything other than to say that the items that we put on the table are open to discussion," Mr. Kelly said. "They have indicated they think the zoos need to honor their current agreements before we make changes."

In the zoos' favor is that the lease program has generated important reproductive successes for a species that is critically endangered, said David L. Towne, director of the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation. Only 1,500 giant pandas are believed to be left in the wild.

For now, though, zoos with pandas do not inspire the envy they once did. "It was like having a World Series winner in your town," said Mr. Towne, who lives in Seattle. But now, he said, based purely on economics, "I've told my mayor and everyone else that the last thing we want is pandas."

TF Chipmunk
Nov 26th, 2006, 04:59 AM
:scared:

quasar
Nov 26th, 2006, 05:39 AM
drake:

But it makes sense... it is digested bamboo.
I was kidding. Sure it makes sense. People would be surprised how vast the uses for digested--an afterwards excreted--food are. For instance, if we're ever to conquer space, with current rocket technology it would impossible to load onto the ship the food requirements to sustain the crew during, say, a voyage to Mars. Only way around it would be recycling the astronaut's own excrement and urine.

Shit is actually da shit! (for some purposes). :)

Cheers,

Carlos

drake3781
Nov 26th, 2006, 06:10 AM
drake:


I was kidding. Sure it makes sense. People would be surprised how vast the uses for digested--an afterwards excreted--food are. For instance, if we're ever to conquer space, with current rocket technology it would impossible to load onto the ship the food requirements to sustain the crew during, say, a voyage to Mars. Only way around it would be recycling the astronaut's own excrement and urine.

Shit is actually da shit! (for some purposes). :)

Cheers,

Carlos


Well, anyway, do you want some?

If you draw me for Secret Santa, get me this, OK? :D

quasar
Nov 26th, 2006, 06:43 AM
If you draw me for Secret Santa, get me this, OK?

Will sure do!

BTW, How ironic would it be if, among the paper products, toillet paper were included: Wiping my ass with paper made of shit!!! :)

Cheers,

Carlos