Overrated/Underrated: Animal Edition

OVERRATED: Pandas

Go to a zoo in any large city, and you are likely to find crowds flocking to see the one or two pandas they have in captivity.  It always boggles my mind that this is the case.  Pandas are the perfect example of all style and no substance.  People are mesmerized by their unique look, yet ignore all the other miserable qualities of the animal.  I can respect the desire to see a Grizzly or Polar Bear, as these are hall of fame animals.  But Pandas…..

Let’s get this right out of the way:  How can any person respect an animal that would rather sit and chew on bamboo instead of mate and try to save its own species?  We go to great lengths to bring in the finest looking Pandas over from China and try to get them to mate with the Pandas in our Zoos.  But there sits the Panda, chewing on his bamboo.  You would think for a species facing extinction, there would be a little more sense of urgency.  And it’s not like we’re asking these Pandas to do something annoying like P90X or watch Jersey Shore.  All we ask is this: “You see that fine Panda over there, go mate.”  Yet they just keep chewing away.  I’ve never tasted bamboo myself, but I imagine that it can’t taste good.  Not even Old Bay could save it…

Still better than White Castle

UNDERRATED: Hyenas

Ask pretty much anyone you know of their opinions on hyenas, and you are likely to get a negative reaction.  And does this negative reaction stem from factual information?  The answer is no.  It stems from the biggest anti-hyena propaganda film of all time, The Lion King. In this film it portrays hyenas as buffoons who are just out to kill.  I can say for a fact that this is not true.  Hyenas are not buffoons.

In the fictional world of The Lion King, hyenas were no match for lions.  In reality, hyenas on the African plains more than hold their own against lions.  Hyenas are notorious pack hunters and have a very sophisticated hunting technique.  They have an organized plan of attack that wears down their prey.  Speaking of which, Hyenas are known as scavengers, but this is not completely true.  Unlike the one trick pony known as the Panda, Hyenas have the versatility to be predators and scavengers depending on the situation.  Once it’s time to feed, the Hyenas let nothing go to waste.  And I mean nothing.  Hyenas have some of the strongest jaws in the world and are known to even eat the bone on the carcass.

Here’s the best part though.  As we all know, life on the Serengeti can be rough.  Animals have to live every day under the fear of being killed by other predators, the possibility of starvation, and not being able to find water.  You would think such stress would weigh heavily on an animal.  Not the Hyena.  Hyenas are the only animals on the African plains who always seem to be laughing.  Despite all the worries they may have about those lions over there ready to attack, they continue to laugh.  Because hey, life is funny.

That’s a nice little pit bull you’ve got there, check out my new pet HYENA!


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