Thai people love pandas. Ever since Lin Ping was born in Chiang Mai Zoo just over a year ago they’ve become a national obsession. There’s a TV channel that broadcasts live from Lin Ping’s cage 24/7. Elephants have been painted like pandas. And their image is everywhere from advertising posters to T-shirts to tableware.

Panda elephants in Ayutthaya

A couple of weeks ago a friend’s mother was shopping at a local market and spotted some unusual looking fish – they looked like pandas, with white body, black around the eyes, and further black splodges on the body. Enchanted she bought one to add to her fish tank.

Her family was a little skeptical: there’s no such thing as a panda-fish. How right they were. A few days later the paint started to come off to reveal … a bog-standard goldfish!


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