The complicated legacy of a panda who was really good at sex


When he died from cancer on Dec. 28, 2016, the 31-year-old Pan Pan was the world’s panda paterfamilias: the oldest known living male and the panda (male or female) with the most genetic contribution to the species’ captive population. Today, there are 520 pandas living in research centers and zoos, mostly in China. Chinese officials say more than 130 of them are descendants of Pan Pan.

Pan Pan saved his species by being really, really, ridiculously good at sex.

I bet when you woke up you didn’t think you’d be reading a really interesting story about panda sex today, did you?