Counting Pandas Is Really Hard

Being a panda census-taker sounds like the most awesome job ever, but pandologist Yang Yi tells the LA Times it's not all it's cracked up to be: "Anybody who has experienced our work knows it is not that glamorous. It is sometimes boring and lonely."

That's because it is really hard to ever see a panda. Also, you can't just be like, "hey pandas!" Says researcher Hong Mingsheng,

It's much harder to do a census of pandas than of people. With a human census, people talk to people. You have no other way of communicating with the pandas.

The result of the panda census the Times reporter covered was pretty grim: "In more than nine hours of hiking, the team finds no panda droppings, only the excrement of a black bear, which looks like spilled coffee grounds."

In China, It's Panda Census Time [LA Times]