The Taipei Times‘ story about “fake” pandas from China had the right elements—counterfeiting, geopolitical tension, bear sex—to make the list of most popular April Fool’s stories last week. Not everyone appreciated it though. The Taipei Times writes:
Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh (葉傑生) did not see the funny side either and expressed concern about the prank’s negative impact on panda conservation education.
“The story carried incorrect information on panda behavior and could mislead the public,” he said. “The Taipei Zoo made a lot of effort to get the pandas at the zoo and we don’t want to see our efforts being destroyed.”
“We understand the story was an April Fool, but I don’t think the newspaper should risk damaging its credibility by carrying such story simply to make people laugh,” he said.
The newspaper’s response, that Fool’s stories “reminds people to read the news with a critical eye,” is a bit rich, but you’d think the zoo would capitalize on all this added attention. How often do you get so many people thinking about ursine intercourse?