On September 19, 2015, the 6th International Red Panda Day (IRPD) took place around the world, and the 2nd French edition! As you know by now, IRPD was created by the American association Red Panda Network (RPN) to raise awareness of the preservation of the red panda to a large audience and to raise funds to be able to continue its actions on the ground, in Nepal.
For more information on the RPN and its actions, click here.
This year, ten French zoological parks joined us to organize this special day: Asson Zoo, Boissière-du-Doré Zoo, Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo, Clères Park, assisted by SECAS, Jurques Zoo, Le Pal, assisted by Le Pal Nature Foundation, Pont-Scorff Zoo, Saint-Martin La Plaine Zoological Space, Touroparc and Trégomeur Zoo
This year, the face painting, coloring and mask making booths were packed. The CPPR also provided an educational booklet for the little ones, so that they can learn while having fun.
The feedings and meetings with the passionate volunteers were also very successful, the public being very receptive and always eager to learn more about the little panda.
Our vice-president, Anne-Gwénaël Pério, had a stand at the Parc de Clères site:
"It was a first for this small Norman park... and the day took place under a very mild sky, which offered us beautiful sunshine. The park teams had prepared three stands: one for the CPPR, one for the SECAS, and one for its educational service, which had created small games for the children, for the occasion, as well as a contest, for the older ones, with a feeding of red panda to be won at the end of the day.
On the CPPR booth, we were two volunteers to make up pandas, a workshop that was very successful, since the park and the town of Clères were invaded by a whole crowd of little pandas! The masks were also very successful, with sometimes very surprising colors!
At 3pm, a storyteller came to share her stories of red pandas, for the greatest happiness of the youngest. Throughout the day, the public could also meet our volunteers in front of Packa and Poya's enclosure, or simply in front of our stands, to learn a little more about these balls of hair. They were not stingy with questions and our enthusiasts took pleasure in answering them.
SECAS, Société d'Encouragement à la Conservation des Animaux Sauvages, sold a number of items featuring the star of the day: stuffed animals, puppets, books... All profits were donated to the Red Panda Network association for the conservation of the little animal.
At 4pm, the draw of the contest organized by the park's educational service designated a young girl as the "big winner". She was able to realize one of her dreams and enter the enclosure to feed the pandas. A great moment of emotion for this young lady!
At the end of the day, we were all very enthusiastic! This first International Day of the Red Panda in the park of Clères went very well and the public obviously welcomed the event! We can't wait for next year! And thank you to the park of Clères as well as to all the parks that followed us this year in this adventure!"
The Bordeaux-Pessac zoo invited our treasurer, Betty Knopf, to represent the CPPR for its second edition of the IRPD:
"During the day, several highlights were scheduled, including two interventions in front of the enclosure of Maurice and Mauricette, the couple of red pandas who live in the park since 2009: the reading of a story, written by Anne-Gwénaël Perio, our vice-president, and illustrated by Stéphanie De Soete, member of the CPPR; and two feedings during the day.
On the welcome stand, the educational team of the zoo and Betty informed the families about the way of life of the pandas, their natural environment and the conservation of this endangered species.
The youngest happily colored the panda masks offered by the park.
At the end of this day:
- Passionate visitors who discovered this little known species;
- A press article in the newspaper Sud-Ouest following the interview of Betty;
- Donations collected for the RPN.
Thus, for the second French edition, we collected about 900€ for the RPN! The whole CPPR team is proud to be able to contribute to the preservation of the red panda by having collected these funds which will be used to train forest guards, replant trees and continue studies and awareness on this small mammal. If you also want to invest in its protection, talk about it around you and help us to make it known!