So this post has been duly researched and written. I have watched an alarming number of 57 YouTube links, a handful of Quora threads and some random Wikipedia pages in my quest for the truth.
What do pandas sound like?
Yes. There. Try answering that one with a single word. Dogs bark, cats mew, cows moo, sheep bleat… So what do pandas do?
We have all watched those adorable black and white fur balls play and gambol around, many times the videos just make our day. There is something about these cute mammals that just fills our eyes with love like the famous ‘heart-eye’ emoji. And before long, we end up clicking links after links for videos and pictures, never having enough of those cuddly cuties. (Ahem… anyone correlating this with the ’57 YouTube links’ is formally informed that that was purely research oriented. I swear!)
Not even once in one of those ‘cute panda rolls downhill’, ‘fun time for baby panda’, ‘panda cubs playing with see-saw’ videos could I hear anything except the thud and fall of the pandas or the swishing noises they make as they move. The more videos I saw, the more curious I became to know what exactly a panda does – I mean, how does it communicate other than with cute gestures?
My research led me to the following facts. I say facts because this is the collective conclusion of various researches and live cam feeds.
While giant pandas can bleat, roar, growl, and honk, baby pandas bleat, bark, and whimper, like a lamb or a goat kid. They also huff and growl, but don’t roar. They have up to 12 ways of expressing themselves vocally. (Flashback to the video I saw about pandas making exasperated bleats and squeaks because the swing was just a wee bit too high and the stubborn bamboo shoot wouldn’t bend.)
Okay. Back on track.
So while we have all just assumed that the only noises pandas make are sleepy grunts and the chewing noises of the bamboo shoots, or even the heavy thud of their feet and bodies as they roll about and fall down, they do actually make other noises. Well, a huge variety of them, by the looks of it.
And that is how one of my life’s biggest mysteries has been answered. Why did the elementary school book on ‘Animals and the sounds they make’ never tell us how pandas sound? That is because pandas are too awesome to limit themselves to one sound.
So the next time someone asks us how a panda sounds, we can take our pick. This post has come thus far, to just one conclusion. Pandas are ‘multilingual’.
Yay to them. And may they keep rolling down hills and travelling in planes with diapers and accompanying keepers for our continued joy!
The world needs more pandas. 😀
P.S.: Anyone commenting on this post in any manner saying, “But I’ve heard you! I already know how pandas sound.” Will be hexed and thrown into a bamboo forest. Thank you for your cooperation. 😀