Pandas International eNewsletter
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Happy Chinese New Year to our Friends in Bifengxia and Wolong
Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese New Year is, by far, the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays and is observed as a public holiday. For keepers at the Wolong and Bifengxia panda reserves, this is one of the only times during the year that they are away from the base with family. What many don’t realize is that the keepers work seven days a week and live at the reserves caring for the Pandas. While some keepers have moved their families to the base as well (when both adults work for the reserve for instance), many live away from their families for the vast majority of the year and the Chinese New Year holidays are the primary time they are free to leave the reserve to visit their family. During these holidays, other keepers come to the reserve to fill in — ensuring the pandas receive high-quality continuous care through the holidays as well.

So, to our friends and colleagues in China who spend their years in tireless dedication to our favorite bears – a very Happy Chinese New Year to each of you!
13th Annual Chinese New Year Dinner
Silent Auction
Silent Auction
Each year, Pandas International hosts a Chinese New Year’s Dinner to raise funding and awareness for pandas, celebrate our supporters, and socialize with our friends. We want to thank everyone who joined us this year for your continued support of PI. We appreciate each and every one of you!

Over 200 guests joined us at the Palace Restaurant in Denver, CO to share in this wonderful evening. Our cocktail hour was festive, filled with laughter and the sharing of stories with friends old and new. Guests were able to bid on fabulous silent auction gifts including absolutely stunning panda artwork donated by some of our favorite artists.

Suzanne Braden
Director Suzanne Braden
Our cocktail hour was followed by a fabulous 8-course meal and a keynote speech by Pandas International Director Suzanne Braden. Suzanne stressed the importance of our mission to ensure the preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda - even in the face of intense scrutiny and antagonism. She explained the role that PI plays in Panda preservation; highlighting the medical supply donations, bamboo reforestation projects, and milk and food supplies that PI provides directly to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Bifengxia and the Wolong Panda Reserve and Center for Disease Control. Suzanne then expanded upon the reintroduction program and the steps that the centers are taking to ensure that pandas are not only preserved in captivity but are reintroduced to the wild.

Tai Shan
Lion Dance
To close out her speech, Suzanne talked in detail about our goal at PI this year - to provide enrichment for captive pandas in 117 enclosures at the Bifengxia and Wolong Reserves. Enrichment activities are vital to improving and/or maintaining the pandas’ physical and psychological health.

The evening was capped off with a phenomenal performance by local lion dancers who captivated guests with their acrobatics and beautiful costumes.

Again, a sincere Thank You to all of our supporters for a fabulous evening!
Behavioral Enrichment
Toys for Pandas
Along with the annual support of medical programs, bamboo reforestation, and providing milk and food for pandas in Bifengxia and Wolong, Pandas International has a goal this year of funding toys for the pandas!

It may sound a bit frivolous to spend our limited funding on toys, but we assure you it is vitally important. Toys provide what is called "behavioral enrichment," or "environmental enrichment" for captive animals. Enrichment is a practice that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being. The goal of environmental enrichment is to improve or maintain an animal’s physical and psychological health by increasing range or number of species-specific behaviors and increasing positive utilization of the captive environment. Enrichment has been shown to prevent or reduce the frequency of abnormal behaviors such as the pacing and other repetitive and/or stereotypical behaviors often displayed by animals in captivity.

Pandas International has a goal of providing every enclosure at Bifengxia and Wolong with enrichment items. Currently there are a total of 58 enclosures at Bifengxia and there are 59 planned enclosures at the new Wolong Center. Each enclosure will be given a jungle gym and an assortment of balls and other toys with your help. Pandas of all ages truly enjoy climbing and swinging on a daily basis. With the help of our generous supporters, we know that we can truly make a difference in the lives of all of our captive Giant Pandas this year.
Tai Shan
Tai Shan
Pandas in China
Tai Shan moves to "Lovers Lane"
February marked a very emotional anniversary for US-based Tai Shan fans who bid a teary farewell to the beloved panda on February 4, 2010 when he left his home at the National Zoo in D.C. for China. Although it was difficult for Tai Shan fans to say goodbye, the process of returning pandas to China is intricately tied to conservation efforts for this endangered species. It is essential that new DNA be continually introduced into captive breeding programs to ensure the diversity of the gene pool. On that note, and to bring an uplifting note to an anniversary that many still experience with sadness – Pandas International received notification this week from Bifengxia that Tai Shan has been moved to "Lovers Lane" in preparation for the breeding season. This will be his first season to participate, so we all have our fingers crossed.
Tao Tao
Tao Tao
Four Months Later, Tao Tao is Adapting Well to Life in the Wild
Tao Tao, the 2-year-old male panda released into the Liziping Nature Reserve in southwestern China, appears to be adapting well to his new home after 4 months in the wild. Researchers and trackers with the reintroduction program say that he is feeding well and appears healthy and vital. Scientists are monitoring the bear with a GPS collar supplied by Pandas International and have found that Tao Tao has primarily been staying in areas with altitudes between 2,500m and 2,700m (approximately 300m to 500m below where other wild pandas are known to live). He seeks shelter from the wind and rain in caves close to a rich bamboo forest. There are large trees nearby that afford him safety and a water source is nearby.

Tao Tao appears, by all accounts, to be living quite comfortably at this time. His next challenge will be coexisting with other wild pandas when their paths cross.
Happily Munching
Happily munching at the Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park
Giant Pandas at South China's Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou
South China's Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou is home to 13 Giant Pandas – the largest number of Giant Pandas in a zoo facility in the world. The Park's Panda Center covers an area of over 10,000 square meters and mimics the Panda's natural habitat. There are two yards for the pandas – the Green Bamboo Yard and Golden Bamboo Yard featuring an assortment of facilities and enrichment. RIA Novosti correspondent Aleksandr Kovalev has put together a stunning photo expose of the Parks resident pandas.

See the images >>
Volunteering at Bifengxia
Check out the two amazing tours below for a chance to not only travel to China and see the Pandas but to help by volunteering at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve. Plus you will get the chance to meet Pandas International’s Director Suzanne Braden while at the reserve.
Kim's World Travel >> Access China Tours >>
Partners and Programs
Ausra's Photography/Pandute Digital Art
Mommy Mommy
Mommy Mommy I Will Tell You A Secret
Ausra Paulauskaite, a Lithuanian still life, animal, and nature photographer, has been a dedicated fan of pandas for many years. As her love of photography has grown, she has combined it with a passion for travel and is trying to visit and photograph as many pandas as she can. One of her creative photography projects is "Out for An Adventure: Traveling baby pandas," the main characters of which are toy pandas Ginny and Floyd.

Pandas are the highlight of Ausra’s photography and digital art but there is much more to look for. You can visit Pandute Digital Art stores on Fine Art America, Fine Art Europe and Zazzle websites at the links below to enjoy the diversity of themes and styles and to purchase paper or canvas prints, greeting cards, and various merchandise. 5% of profit from every photography product sold by Ausra’s Photography/ Pandute Digital Art will be donated to Pandas International.

Visit Ausra's Web Site >>
Panda Photos and Videos
Too Cute
Panda with a Leaf
We simply can't get over how cute this image is! Captured at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.
Su Shan
Su Shan
The little cub named after our own Suzanne Braden is quite the photogenic panda!
We Dare You Not to Smile
Guess this little one couldn't make up his mind >>
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