Giant pandas are huge, cute, cuddly creatures that also star in big-budget animation films. More recently, the species was upgraded from the endangered list to the vulnerable list.

There is also a lesser known fact about these bamboo-loving creatures: every single giant panda around the world is owned by China. And every time China lends a panda to another country, they sign a trade deal.

The result? Over the last ten years, these panda loans have allowed the country to get a large store of uranium.

The New York Times reported that this panda diplomacy began 43 years ago when US President Richard Nixon exchanged two musk oxen for a pair of giant pandas. Another report suggested that this type of diplomacy is only set to grow as labs in China artificially breed giant pandas, ignoring criticism from environment groups.

But who can blame zoos around the world for being unable to resist the allure of China's giant pandas, when they look (and behave) like this?