The giant panda – found mainly in the bamboo–dense areas of central China – has a vulnerable population due to loss of habitat. Agriculture, ranching, logging, trapping, and human settlement dramatically threatens their habitat. EnviroKidz is proud to partner with Pandas International to support the preservation and propagation of this Chinese national treasure. Read on to learn more about the giant panda and what novel solutions Pandas International has devised to restore their population and keep them munching on bamboo indefinitely!
DID YOU KNOW?
- During China’s Han dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD), giant pandas were thought to have mystical powers, and frolicked in the gardens of emperors.
- Since then, panda populations have dwindled: there are now only an estimated 1,864 living pandas in the wild and 600 in captivity.
- Pandas have evolved special features to help them eat their favorite food, bamboo: strong jaws, large molars, and a “thumb” (actually a modified wrist bone) that helps them hold the bamboo while they eat!
- Pandas have a very good sense of smell – even at night, they can find the best bamboo stalks by scent.
- Unlike other bears, these animals are slow-moving. They prefer to walk than run and have a clumsy gait.
- Pandas do not hibernate because their bamboo diet will not allow them to build up enough fat reserves for the winter, meaning they are constantly on the hunt for food.
Su Shan the panda on the search for bamboo. Photo courtesy of Pandas International.
When Suzanne Braden and Diane Rees returned to the U.S. from a trip to China in 1999, they were so touched by the magnificence of the panda that they decided to create a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting them from extinction. Since then Pandas International has worked tirelessly to develop relationships with Chinese officials and veterinarians and raise funds to support the panda centers and rangers in China. The organization also provides public education, supports research and works towards habitat preservation for these bamboo-lovers.
Since 2019, EnviroKidz funding has helped Pandas International protect and care for pandas living at panda centers in China through the donation of proceeds from the sale of our Panda Puffs™ cereal. Funds from the 2019 donation were used to purchase 20 bags of Esbilac milk formula which is manufactured by PetAg USA and distributed to the panda centers by the Mascot Pet Company in Shanghai. The vitamin-rich formula is used to feed panda cubs, helping them grow healthy and strong! We’re still working on plans for the 2020 donations—stay tuned.
HOW CAN YOU SAVE THE PANDAS?
Talk to your friends and neighbors. Tell them why you support wildlife protection, and help them see how people and wildlife can coexist.
Include Pandas International in your estate plan.
Enjoy EnviroKidz Panda Puffs cereal knowing that a portion of sales goes to support this great organization.
For more ways to help protect pandas, visit the Pandas International website.
Cao Cao nestles with her cub. Photo courtesy of Pandas International.
Note: Prior to partnering with Pandas International, EnviroKidz supported Defenders of Wildlife and their wildlife programs, from 2011 to 2018.
Every time you buy one of Nature’s Path’s EnviroKidz products, a portion of the sales are donated to support endangered species, habitat conservation, and environmental education for kids worldwide. To date, we have raised over $4 million to help our partnering organizations with their educational and protection efforts!