How To Be a Panda Friend

It has been reported that Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, is now changing his name to Panda Friend as he sets off to play for the Chinese Basketball Association. 

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Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, is off to play for the Chinese Basketball Association. He will be a member of the Sichuan Blue Whales for the next year, as the highest-paid foreign player to join the league, and he wanted to mark the season with his favorite thing: a ridiculous name change.

He teased the change a few days ago:

And now China Daily is reporting his new name will be "Panda Friend." The Wire has some recommendations as to how Mr. Artest/Peace/Friend can be an A+ companion to the pandas of Sichuan.

Visit Some Pandas

When Panda Friend arrives in Sichuan, we would recommend he check out the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries. These sanctuaries house more than a third of the world's pandas. It looks like Panda Friend is already on board with this part of the plan:

Watch a Panda Cam

When Friend can't be with the pandas, we would suggest he check out some panda cams. He can check out Bao Bao the panda at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park or China Network Television Channel's panda cam. CNTC offers a 24-hour livestream of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. 

Grow Some Bamboo

Pandas love bamboo. If you want to have some pandas over for a visit, it would be rude not to have their favorite snack available, so Panda Friend should take to tending a small bamboo patch. Or a really large bamboo patch. Panda's eat about 30 pounds of bamboo a day.

Drink Panda Poo Tea

This might sound gross, but for a true Panda Friend, it's no big deal. This green tea is made using panda poo, which is actually quite high in vitamins and minerals from bamboo because pandas only digest 30 percent of what they eat.

The tea is actually quite pricey — $35,000 a pound — but considering Panda Friend is bringing in $1.43 million playing for Sichuan this season, he can afford it.

Help Save Some Pandas

As a friend to pandas, he should help to keep these giant fluff balls alive. Right now, there are only about 1,600 pandas left in the wild. They remain on the endangered list because of "habitat fragmentation and unsustainable development."

The World Wildlife Fund offers a symbolic panda adoption program, so for just $250, Panda Friend can adopt a panda friend. In fact, he could actually adopt 5,720 panda friends with his $1.43 million salary.

Rush Alpha Omicron Pi

This Greek life association's unofficial mascot is, you guessed it, the panda. While sorority membership is usually reserved for female college students, Panda Friend could request an honorary membership, as the two share a mutual affection for pandas.

Hug A Panda

This is extremely important.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.