Red Pandas at the Chengdu Panda Base could be termed ‘second-class citizens’ since they are inevitably in the giant shadow of the giant pandas. Asked to MC for the opening bash for More Chengdu magazine, they agreed that we should feature the red pandas and raise money by auctioning a couple of Kati’s photos of the red pandas.
Here is the spiel that Kati prepared for the evening
Southwest China is categorized as one of the world’s rare Hotspots of Biodiversity, which means that the natural areas of Sichuan and Yunnan are particularly rich in the variety of unique animal and plant species. Many of these species – including the giant panda, red panda and golden monkey – are extremely vulnerable, if not endangered. The Chengdu Panda Base is a non-profit organization committed to conservation and research of wildlife in the Southwest China Hotspot, to captive breeding and exhibition of giant pandas and red pandas, and to conservation education. We have the strongest conservation research and education programs of any institution in China. Details of the programs and activities of the Panda Base may be found in the brochures available at this event.
The giant pandas receive a great deal of publicity and resources, and support for their conservation efforts is wonderful. Other, equally-endangered species fall into the shadow of the great black and white bear, however, and one of these “poor cousins” is the red panda. This animal shares habitats with the giant panda, also lives primarily on bamboo, and suffers the same threats for extinction. It is a beautiful, enigmatic creature with physical and personality characteristics that remind one of bears, cats and raccoons. Resources for red panda programs are very limited, however, as most of the available money goes to giant pandas. At the Chengdu Panda Base, we are desperate for a new enclosure to relieve the crowded, stressful conditions under which the red pandas currently live and in which their health and reproduction suffer. We are also developing a badly-needed red panda hospital. Your support of the red panda program at the Chengdu Panda Base is enormously appreciated.
If you are interested in details of particular programs, please contact Dr. Sarah Bexell (education) or Dr. Kati Loeffler (animal health, scientific research and red pandas). Business cards with contact information are available by the information materials.