In these tough economic times, businesses from department stores to zoos are struggling to attract customers, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do but get a little…um…creative. For example, shrewd business people will offer discounts, find unique merchandise, or paint their zoo animals to look like pandas.

Wait, what!?


The image above was found on a Chinese website, though details are a bit sparse at the moment. On first glimpse, it might look like two lazy pandas flopped on their bellies in the middle of a swimming pool, but if you look really closely, you’ll notice something’s not quite right with this photo. Are they…? Yep, those definitely look like crocodiles or alligators painted black and white.

So far, it’s not clear where the photo was taken or who was assigned the “paint large dangerous animals to look like cute, cuddly pandas” job, though it seems that the photos might have originated in Russia due to their popularity on Russian social networking sites. Both Russian and Chinese media sources have harshly criticized the stunt, writing everything from “Are the zookeepers out of their minds?” to “This is unforgivable” and “They aren’t cute at all!”

Well, we think they’re kind of cute…

Still, as strange as the photo is, it’s easy to understand why no one’s come forward to claim credit for these devilish new creatures. But we’re desperate to know: Are they still black and white? Has the zoo staff taken the pandagator evolution to a new level? Will we soon be overrun by a race of vicious-yet-cuddly pandagator-penguisharks??

The future of humanity may depend on the answers to these very questions! Though probably not. We can’t help thinking one thing: Where’s a Poké Ball when you really need one?!

Source/image: Byoukan Sunday