Friday, October 14, 2016

Feel Good Friday - Pandas International

It's Friday and it may be hard to feel good with all the election news bringing you down but fear not. Today, for a complete change of pace, Feel Good Friday celebrates Pandas International!

Pandas International is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by Suzanne Braden and Diane Rees after they learned about the plight of the Giant Panda on a trip to the Wolong Panda Center in China. According to the World Wildlife Fund, "despite their exalted status and relative lack of natural predators, pandas are still at risk. Severe threats from humans have left just over 1,800 pandas in the wild."

The mission of Pandas International is "to ensure the
preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda." They do this by providing "public awareness and education, support for research, habitat preservation and enhancement, and assistance to Giant Panda Centers."

You can watch an adorable (how can it not be?) 1:47 minute video here to see lots of pandas and learn about the work Pandas International is doing. They partner with Giant Panda breeding centers and reserves in China to provide medical equipment and supplies. Programs they support include captive breeding, reintroduction, environmental enrichment and bamboo reforestation - because 99% of a pandas diet is bamboo! Details of the programs and annual reports can be found here.

If you'd like to support the work Panda International and the reserves in China you have a lot of options! You can adopt a panda, though at a cost of $10,000, you may prefer to sponsor a year of worming medication ($25) or year of bamboo ($300). You can also host a panda party to raise funds, volunteer in China, buy panda schwag, or show your support on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @PandasInt.

And because we all need to keep our spirits up through November 8th, I offer you a parting gift: live panda cam!

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