Good Example Of The Red Panda’s Great Escape Creative Writing
“We are neither bears nor squirrels,” that is what my mother told me when I was little. Red pandas like us may do get to fool ordinary humans into thinking we are smaller cousins of our more popular namesakes, the giant pandas, or that we are the same as raccoons and squirrels, but we are certainly unique. I, for one, can attest that being named as Ailurus fulgens by smarter humans calling themselves as biologists, we are certainly unlike any other animal out there (Flynn et al. 190-199).
And surely, we are different as we claim to be, not least because of the fact that right now, I am speaking from a place different from what I used to call home. I bet you got the impression that I was talking to my mother in the woods during my little introduction, yes? No, you’re wrong. In fact, I do not have a mother anymore – some bandits with guns destroyed out little home in the woods when I was little – not too long after my mother talked to me about us being different from bears and squirrels (Yonzon & Hunter 1-11).
Following a loud bang – and I was lucky to have hidden under piles of dry leaves after jumping off a tree, smoke filled the air and my mother was nowhere to be seen. I did not cry –I was either too scared or too traumatized to remember whether I did shed tears, but the familiar sight of fur being dumped on a sack, probably my mother’s, has since pushed me into a life of fear and defiance. Maybe it’s the same for all my fellow red pandas who lost their friends and family because of humans, but it surely is not easy for me as well, now that I’m living in this place called a conservation facility (Chowdhury, 250-259; Flynn et al., 190-199).
Blood dripping from my tail was perhaps a really gruesome sight for me to behold – that, at least, coming from my dream last night. Maybe the fact that my mother was killed by human hands led me to distrust humans so much, even after all these years of living quite a silent life here at the conservation facility. At least under the “good” humans here, I get to eat proper food in rations, which I do not have to hunt for anymore. Although I do feel a bit different – after all, my mother taught me how to hunt for birds and harvest mulberry, same with the other fruits, of course, I am somewhat happy that I am living quite a comfortable life here. Competition, unlike what I had to engage in before with my brothers – all of which I haven’t seen for long as well, was virtually absent, since the humans here give us food in equal portions. Sounds unnatural, right? Though I miss the wild already, I can’t deny that I feel much safer here (Reid et al., 1991).
As I loiter around the surroundings of my cages, I came across one fellow staying in a corner, apparently in a sobbing fit. I made the approach, tried to reach out and even introduced myself to him. I asked him what’s wrong, told him that I’ve been staying inside the conservation facility for a good five years already and hinted that he’s new to the place. “I don’t know where they brought my parentsthe poachers, they shot right through us and I never looked back anymore. Now I’m brought to this place and I don’t know what’s going to happen to me after. I miss my hometown – the woods, the fruits and the birds. Now that I’m here, I’m scaredI just want to vanish.” He stopped short of his last few words and broke his tears. “I’m not sure if I’m safe here, but I do trust that you’ll keep me company, yes?” I gladly assured that I have him covered, though I started to feel lonely as well (“Red Panda”).
Sitting a few meters away from the red panda cage are cages handling other animals – great pandas, pangolins and Bengal tigers. They’re pretty mighty creatures compared to us red pandas, but none of them were showing off proudly –all of them are really depressed. The great pandas were all crying for their friends and family to be found, the pangolins were all seeking revenge and the Bengal tigers were simply reduced to tears after learning that many of them were turned into carpets and fur coats. Humans, reallyhow awful could they get! I did tell myself that and I left myself with little to no doubt that no human really sympathizes with what we are truly feeling while we’re out in the wild. Not even the people inside our conservation facility, I said (O’Brien 467-489; Wei et al. 448-455).
While I am not one to talk to my fellow animals from the other cages – I even avoided them when I was out in the wild, since they might just make me their meal, I made it a point to observe how life for them here inside the conservation facility has been for the past five years of my stay. I’ve seen that just like us red pandas, rationed food obviously different from those gotten from the wild were fed to the great pandas, pangolins and Bengal tigers. Conditions were not the same as the ones in their natural habitats, as steel cages kept them away from humans, who are understandably threatened by the danger they brought. But, shouldn’t we be the ones who should be threatened of humans, not the other way around? After hunting for our fellows violently, I guess it is just right for them to get scared. Vengeful, perhaps? No, I do think I am in the right position to seek justice (Johnston; Miller).
All the animals, including myself and the other red pandas, can’t no longer handle staying inside the conservation facility. An escape plan is now in the cards, and it is perhaps the only way for us to regain freedom and go back home. After all, did we ever try to take humans away from their own habitats, never mind if we are less capable than them in doing so? Did we ever intend to slaughter them for our own goods on a wholesale basis? I know, for a fact, that what they are doing to us is no longer amenable, even if it means having to cage all of us to conserve our kind away from the nasty hunters and poachers (Wang & Macdonald 558-565).
Thus, when the caretakers finally left their posts to do their rounds in surrounding forests, I and the rest of the red pandas chanced upon the cage door left open by one of them. With the help of the newbie red panda I’ve talked to days ago, I managed to snatch the keys from the snoozing cage guard near the exit, which is just a few meters away from the cages storing our great panda, pangolin and Bengal tiger friends. Having released all the animals cage by cage, we then made it a point to settle everything with our human handlers. The cage guard, visibly shaking at the sight of us surrounding him as if he never woke from his nightmare, scurried hurriedly out of the conservation facility as he was chased down by one of the Bengal tigers. The arrival of the other caretakers did not daunt us, at least due to the fact we are plentiful in numbers, as they ran away from us after alighting from their van. Right now, I said, we are now free to roam again, as we all went back to the forests to start our lives in our homes, never mind if the poachers chase us since we all vowed to go after them anyway, if in case their fellow humans don’t stop them (Glatston; “Red Pandas”).
Choudhury, Anwaruddin. "An Overview of the Status and Conservation of the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in India, With Reference to Its Global Status." Oryx 35.3 (2001): 250-259. Print.
Flynn, John, Nedbal, Michael, Dragoo, Jerry, and Rodney Honeycutt. "Whence the Red Panda?" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 17.2 (2000): 190-199. Print.
Glatston, Angela (Ed.). Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2011. Kindle eBook.
Johnston, Claire. Red Pandas: Shy Forest Dwellers. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2008. Kindle eBook.
Miller, Sara Swan. Red Pandas. New York City, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008. Kindle eBook.
O’Brien, S. J. "Genetic and Phylogenetic Analyses of Endangered Species." Annual Review of Genetics 28 (1994): 467-489. Print.
“Red Panda." A-Z Animals. n. d. A-Z Animals. 22 March 2015. <http://a-z-animals.com/animals/red-panda/>.
Red Pandas. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Kindle eBook.
Reid, D. G., Hu, Jinchu, and Yan Huang. "Ecology of the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in the Wolong Reserve, China." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 225.3 (1991): 347-364. Print.
Wang, S. W., and D. W. Macdonald. "Livestock Predation by Carnivores in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Bhutan." Biological Conservation 129.4 (2006): 558-565. Print.
Wei, Fuwei, Feng, Zuojian, and Jinchu Hu. "Habitat Use and Separation between the Giant Panda and the Red Panda." Journal of Mammalogy 81.2 (2000): 448-455. Print.
Yonzon, Pralad, and Malcolm Hunter. “Conservation of the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens" Biological Conservation 57.1 (1991): 1-11. Print.
All images are taken from http://a-z-animals.com/animals/red-panda/
Red Panda Conservation Project (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96LPO5m_l84
RED PANDA - Species Spotlight (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd0y9TBadR0
Red Pandas Playing (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-NiekTigUw
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