“Securing pandas for any American city is an undertaking of extraordinary diplomatic and financial complexity,” writes the New York Times, in a piece about Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s extremely specific quest to bring two pandas to New York City. “The costs of leasing pandas from China, feeding them and building a suitable habitat would run into the tens of millions of dollars.”

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And, of course, there are four cities in America with pandas already—D.C., Atlanta, San Diego, and Memphis all have BBW (big, black & white) zoo bears who pretend to be pregnant and don’t really know how to fuck. But Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York’s 14th District, who sponsored the first same-sex partnership bill in New York City in 1990 and was also the first member of the New York City Council to give birth while in office, is all:

“After the financial crisis, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, it’s about time to have something happy,” she said on a recent Monday, as she strode through the Bronx Zoo, wrapped in a scarf ornamented with pandas. “Let’s have a panda.”

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Ms. Maloney, 69, said she had found that pandas have a unique power to bring people together.

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More support has come from an even less likely source: the former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican and a zoo enthusiast, who said in an email that New York would benefit from “these remarkable animals.”

“Surely the greatest American city ought to have pandas,” Mr. Gingrich wrote.

According to the Times—and you should read the details of her quixotic endeavor, you really should—Maloney is brainstorming animals she could give to China in exchange for the pandas they don’t want to give her. Her first idea: an upstate New York deer.


Contact the author at jia@jezebel.com.

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Image of non-NYC panda Bei Bei at the National Zoo via AP