Before you grab a net and some bamboo and head down I-35, let me clarify. There's a weirdo dressed in a panda costume on the loose in Norman. It's not a real panda. Sorry about getting your hopes up.
We know this thanks to the Oklahoma Daily. They interviewed OU Panda's human, Mr. Virgin, for this week's paper:
Squirrels aren't the only furry critters that roam OU's campus. This semester, a new animal arrived, and he's doing more than burying nuts outside — he's going to classes and runs a Twitter account, too.
You may have seen him around. He's black, white and goes by the name OU Panda, or just Panda.
Panda, a human dressed in a full-body panda costume, made his first documented appearance Oct. 15 in the Oklahoma Memorial Union when, in the middle of the night, he decided to get some food from Crossroads.
This prompted OU students to tweet pictures of him. Although this was his first documented excursion, Panda said he's been walking around on campus since the first weeks of the semester.
After the trip to the Union on Oct. 15, Panda created his own Twitter account: @OU_Panda, where he tweets about bamboo and retweets pictures taken with him.
I wanted to find out more about the infamous panda, so I contacted Panda on his Twitter account. He agreed to the interview but said that he had to bring someone with him to interpret because he could not speak English. He asked me to send the questions beforehand to his human, Britton Thagard. I obliged.
On the morning of his interview Panda arrived to The Daily's newsroom with Thagard. Panda was dressed for the occasion in a red tie.
Throughout the interview, Panda did not make a sound but made several physical expressions to the questions. Thagard verbally answered all of the questions, which I sent him beforehand.
First of all, pandas are awesome. With all respect to the manatee, koala and unicorn, they're basically the coolest animal of all time, and no, I'm not just saying that to impress college girls who like bubble gum, anime and Korean pop music. The only thing those chicks love more than pandas are guys who like pandas.
Here's some proof:
Yeah, I think we found out what motivated some weirdo to dress up like a panda and sneak around the shadows of the OU campus. What a genius plan.
Of course, meeting girls could also just be dumb luck part of the equation. We also have pictures like this:
Great, OU Panda has a weirdo friend. Before you know it, David Boren is going to start bragging about how OU has more national merit scholars dressed in costume than any other public university.
Anyway, you can check out the complete OU Daily interview with OU Panda by clicking here. Instead of asking hard-hitting questions like "Are you normal... What drugs do you use... Does this really help you meet girls? And if so, where does one get a panda costume..." the interviewer plays along and tosses softballs like "Where does Panda get his bamboo?" Obviously, the answer to that one is the bamboo forest at the Oklahoma City Zoo.