The Giant Panda
The Giant Panda

The Giant Panda

A little bigger than your average teddy bear and native to central China. This species is the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund, named after Chi-Chi, a giant panda that was living at the London Zoo in 1961, the same year WWF was created. According to WWF, “(their) founders were aware of the need for a strong, recognisable symbol that would overcome all language barriers”. Since then, the Giant Panda was considered endangered due to excessive poaching and deforestation of their main food source, bamboo. WWF efforts working with the Chinese Government have preserved more than 300 thousand acres of forest near Chengdu (where I first saw Panda’s in the wild) to protect the species from further depletion. However, there are still only 1,800 Giant Pandas left in the world, in comparison to almost double that number 100 years ago.

What you can do:

WWF have an Adopt a Panda option for conservationists who love a gift with their donation. It is also a great idea to give as a gift for a friend or family member. Adoption is only $55 and WWF will send you a plush toy, an adoption certificate, and a picture of your adopted species. Otherwise, donating directly to the WWF cause will support the future of natural habitats and species globally.