China will tag all of its 163 captive pandas in an effort to better monitor the population and prevent inbreeding, Xinhua news agency has announced. According to an unnamed State Forestry Administration official: "Information about pedigree, age and other basic data will be permanently incorporated into the giant pandas by ways of molecular labeling or hypodermic implantation of sensing chips."
Although no further details are forthcoming, we cannot help but feel that the RFID panda is a sound plan. Pandas are legendarily energetic and difficult to monitor - capable of bursts of speed of 0.001mph for up to three seconds. They will also, as we all know, take any opportunity to indulge in a quick bit of inbreeding.
The programme offers the additional benefit that should Wal-Mart decide to add pandas to its product roster, they are already tagged for stock control purposes. ®