Big news in the Panda world – Yang Guang, a male giant panda, and female Tian Tian are heading home to China after spending the last 12 years in Edinburgh Zoo. They first arrived in December 2011 as part of a 10-year agreement between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the China Wildlife Conservation Association. This is a particularly sad day for us as over the past few years we have sponsored the Panda Cam meaning people all over the country could have a sneak peak into Yang Guang and Tian Tian enclosure.
Credit: Edinburgh Zoo
Here at PandaHQ it goes without saying that we LOVE Pandas, and we think their conservation is vital. This is why joined forces with WWF to support conservation projects globally, and of course, this includes conservation of the Giant Panda. Giant pandas are more than just VERY cute and cuddly creatures (although we don’t condone trying to cuddle a real Panda). They play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and are a symbol of global conservation efforts! Sadly, their populations have faced lots of threats, including habitat loss, climate change, and even poaching.
As a result, two-thirds of all pandas don’t live in their natural habitats at all, they now live in nature reserves, like Yang Guang and Tian Tian due to the threat to their existence!
For years, WWF has been at the forefront of efforts to protect giant pandas and in 1980 WWF became the first conservation organisation invited to work in China. They’ve been working with the Chinese government to help protect giant pandas ever since! This includes helping to keep more panda habitat intact and working with local communities to help them take up livelihoods that don’t negatively impact on panda’s habitats – like bee keeping! The money we raise for WWF through our WWF branded products could be spent on bamboo seedlings to be planted in run down panda habitats (and we promise, this isn’t the type we use to make our toilet roll!).
Climate change is a big threat to the bamboo forests that pandas depend on for food. By reducing our carbon footprint, we can contribute to the preservation of panda habitats.Thanks to the efforts of charities like WWF, the giant panda was recently downgraded from "Endangered" to "Vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List - that is truly amazing news and we think that deserves a round of ap-paws!
We wish Yang Guang and Tian Tian all the best on the travels home to China.