Panda to my desires / by Thomas O'Malley

The Chengdu Panda Research and Breeding Centre, dedicated to safeguarding these enchanting creatures dubbed 'China's National Treasure'.

I have my suspicions, however, that the Chinese authorities aren't being straight with us. These pandas look somewhat like fat men in costume. Pandas have been extinct in China for years, I'm sure of it.

I shouted a question at this one to see if I could catch him out, but he just stared at me. He knew I was on to him though.

Our guide sensed the game might be up, so we were quickly ushered to the Panda Kindergarten to see 'proof' of the breeding program's success. Didn't fool me. I've seen how they did the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.

Proof! It was John Prescott all along. Hmmm.  I'm not the first great Englishman to come here to see the pandas. It costs £150 to have your photo taken with a baby. I'm betting John didn't have to shell out though...

Happily there's a cheaper option. For £3 you can have your picture taken with this creature. They call it a 'red panda'. Looks kind of like a raccoon to me, but what the hey.

"The Lord God Made Them All!!"

Or not.