There’s some heartening news for animal activists, conservationists, and just casual fans of adorable, seemingly huggable creatures: The Giant Panda has finally been removed from the endangered species list (though it is still considered a “vulnerable” species), according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Giant pandas were placed on the endangered species list in 1990 and since then it has taken legislation, philanthropic donations, education, restructuring of resources, and social and cultural activism to help their struggle to survive and repopulate.
But Brooklyn rapper and Kanye collaborator Desiigner, whose hit song “Panda” came out late last year, is also taking credit for the good news, and fans of his — including the World Wildlife Foundation, whose logo is a panda — are taking notice and thanking him for perhaps inadvertently spreading awareness to their plight. In the music video for the track, a man in a panda suit is depicted going about his day doing humanlike things, such as dancing and eating convenience store food, riding in cars and exploring the streets of NYC.
So maybe we can’t entirely presume that Desiigner is to thank for their survival, but at the very least, he “normalized” pandas and made them seem relatable, and sometimes that’s all we need to feel a little empathy. Now, we just need him to write a song about the hundreds of other animals on the list, and maybe the animal kingdom can be fully restored.