The Pandaceros

Herein lies a classical tale which for some reason has never been added to the collection.. This version is by Stan Kegel and is based on a punch line in stories by Richard Bratner and Bennett Cerf.

In this modern era, where cloning, hybrid and generic engineering have become household words, few of us remember the true pioneer of genetic experimentation. I am, of course speaking of Dr. Moreau. Not the Dr. Moreau immortalized by H. G. Wells in his famous novel, but the real Pierre Moreau who actually attempted to form new species from unrelated animals.

Most of his experiments failed. Most of the documents that survived deal with his attempts to cross a dog and a cat, but none lived more than a few hours after birth. His studies were ridiculed by the French Academy of Science and he died in disgrace, not realizing he was a hundred years ahead of his time.

He had only a single real success which occurred when he cloned the chromosomes of the black rhinoceros with the giant panda of China. Only one of this new species, which he called a pandaceros survived beyond infancy but with diligence and care, one did grow to full maturity.

This magnificent animal was over five foot tall and weighed 500 pounds. It had a long soft black and white fur coat and a 18 inch hollow cylindrical horn on its forehead. The horn communicated through a canal with the posterior pharynx, which, unlike the elephant which uses its trunk to breathe, was primary used for feeding. His daily supply of bamboo shoots and berries was placed in the horn and with the use of a plunger-like devise invented by Dr. Moreau, the beast could get its frequent feedings as it desired.

It was a loving animal, ideal for a pet, and loved to play with children. Unfortunately, like most hybrids, it was sterile. This made commercial production of pandaceri uneconomical, and the process was never repeated by Dr. Moreau or his disciples.

In 1895, faced with forced closure of his island laboratories, Moreau sold his only successful hybrid to the Circus de Royal and it was the premier attraction for two years before its untimely death from pneumonia. Visitors from throughout the world traveled to have an opportunity to pet this wonderful beast. For a few years, the Circus de Royal was the most talked about and visited entertainment center in all of Europe.

Now, one hundred years after the untimely death of the world’s only pandaceros, there are few still alive that remember their trips to the circus and the excitement of seeing and petting the magnificent furry with the syringe on the top.

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