*Disclosure: I totally fell for this.*
On Friday, the National Zoo posted what seemed to be one of its regular #PandaStory updates on Twitter:
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) April 1, 2016
Thus, I clicked. “Did you know giant pandas have very sensitive hearing?” the zoo’s website explained on its usual Panda Cam page. “Our scientists are trying to determine how well they can distinguish individual voices. Click the button below and begin speaking when prompted. Your voice will then be broadcast at a very low volume to the giant pandas and our behavior watchers will record any change in their behavior.”
Pandas! Science! City Desk pounced on the opportunity to say to father Tian Tian: “You’re so underrated.”
I clicked said button.
“APRIL FOOLS’ DAY PANDA LOVERS! If only we could all have private conversations with giant pandas. Support the staff and scientists that can. Donate now and support our giant panda conservation and research program.”
City Desk reached out to the zoo for additional details about the “study.”
My pride is still a little hurt.
Update 2 p.m.: The zoo got back to me, and I feel slightly better: “Happy April Fools! We actually do have a sound component to our Enrichment program for our Asian elephants, otters, sloth bears, and orangutans.”