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Will Bamboo Shortage Impact Berry's OPM Job?

By Ed O'Keefe

The National Zoo is in urgent need of bamboo, reports The Post's Michael Ruane and "zoo officials said they may not have enough to last the winter."

Giant PandaWhat do hungry pandas have to do with personnel management? Ask zoo director John Berry.

That's not good news for the Zoo's director, John Berry, who's reportedly accepted Barack Obama's offer to serve as director of the Office of Personnel Management.

As The Post reports:

"One problem is that the zoo now has three more or less adult-sized giant pandas -- the main consumers of its bamboo. At 160 pounds, three-year-old Tai Shan is no longer a cub, and his parents, 275-pound Tian Tian, and 250-pound Mei Xiang are ravenous grownups. They scarf up bamboo 12 to 14 hours a day, consuming some 1,400 pounds of the stuff a week. Bamboo is also eaten to a lesser extent by the zoo's raccoon-sized red pandas, and by the three elephants and six adult and adolescent gorillas, the zoo said.

As director of OPM, Berry would serve as the federal government's director of human resources, responsible for all sorts of workforce issues. He's earned rave reviews from former employers and the federal workers' unions, as The Eye reported yesterday.

The Eye will resist the urge to joke about how the bamboo might impact Berry's OPM nomination (but if he can't feed the animals, will he be able to keep federal workers happy?). You should feel free to opine in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 14, 2009; 12:33 PM ET
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Well at least the zoo will be getting rid of him! Besides, agency directors don't care if their underlings eat or not. They just want the underlings to work hard and make them look good.

Posted by: justhere | January 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

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