Giant pandas are the cutest animals on this godforsaken dying planet, particularly when they are babies, and their teeny baby panda butts do a cute little wiggle. And yet, I do not think this rare white panda recently spotted in the Chinese rainforest is cute. It is not his fault. It is mine. I’m sorry, White Panda, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and my eyes don’t like you.
According to the New York Times, the above image is the first known documentation of an all-white albino panda, photographed in April in at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan. The albino panda is one of a handful of giant pandas with coloring that deviates from the black-and-white norm, as experts say they’ve seen brown-and-white pandas in northwestern China over the years.
But this little guy is special, according to Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature researcher Li Sheng:
“I personally think it’s quite random for it to be discovered, since albinism manifests itself so infrequently,” Dr. Li said in a telephone interview. “This was recorded just in time.”
Li says the panda, who researchers suspect is around one to two years old, “looks quite well, quite strong,” and has likely not been affected much by the albino gene mutation. This is good news for the panda, who deserves a rich and happy life full of bamboo shoots, belly flops, and no sex. But just as I prefer tall men who absolutely do not like me, it is only the black-and-white pandas that have captured my heart. I’m sure you understand.