Pandas Are Actually Terrible Investments For Zoos

panda

Photo: Chi King via flickr

There’s a new baby panda at the San Diego Zoo! While they’re obviously adorable, they’re also the high-priced divas of the animal kingdom. Here’s why you should think twice before taking in a stray:

$1,000,000 PER YEAR IN RENTAL FEES
Zoos around the world don’t own their pandas; they lease them from the Chinese government for as much as $1 million per panda per year.

+60% IN SHORT-TERM GAINS
New pandas can make a zoo’s attendance skyrocket by 60 per cent. After the initial excitement wanes, though, zoos are hard-pressed to break even on their panda attractions.

$600,000 “CUB TAX”
Baby bears can trigger a fresh wave of patron interest, but since China knows that a new cub means an influx of cash, it sticks each baby bear with a one-time $600,000 cub tax.

$500,000 PER YEAR MAINTENANCE CHARGES
At $500,000 a year, taking care of a panda is roughly five times more expensive than zoos’ next-priciest animals: elephants.

ACT NOW TO CUT YOUR RATE!
When the San Diego Zoo’s contract expired in 2008, it talked the Chinese government into cutting its annual fees in half. Apparently, you can put a price on cuteness!

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