New Funding for RZSS Edinburgh Zoo’s Red Pandas

04 February 2016 | Royal Zoological Society of Scotland News Release

Conservation charity, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), has been awarded an additional £25,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The surprise funding will support the development of an enclosure for two red pandas that are confirmed to arrive at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo later this year.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded an extra £1.425 million to long-term supported charities and RZSS is one of 57 charities that will receive the extra £25,000 award from players of the charity lottery. Last month RZSS celebrated receiving half a million pounds since the beginning of 2014, which has helped support vital conservation and research projects such as the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda and the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project in the Pantanal, Brazil.

Barbara Smith, Managing Director for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “As a conservation charity we are delighted and grateful to be receiving this additional sum from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Two male red pandas are due to arrive later this year at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and this surprise funding will make a huge contribution towards the creation of an enclosure for them.”

Darren McGarry, Head of Living Collections at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, added: “We’re delighted to be bringing red pandas back to Edinburgh. Our sister park RZSS Highland Wildlife Park houses red pandas and has had great success in breeding this endangered species, with a male kit born for the first time in over a decade in 2013 and a male and a female in 2014. In the future we hope to replicate this success at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. To start with we will support the captive breeding programme as a male holder, but in the future we will house a breeding pair. We’re sure our red pandas will be extremely popular and they were a natural choice as we already have a plentiful supply of bamboo!”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “As People’s Postcode Lottery continues to grow the amount that our players award to good causes continues to increase. We are very proud that our players can continue to support the development of fantastic causes, including the new red panda enclosure at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.”

This additional funding comes at a very exciting time for the charity lottery as they mark 10 years since the first ever draw. The last 10 years have created thousands of lucky winners but also have provided vital funding for numerous charities across Great Britain and internationally. A minimum of 27.5% is awarded to charities and good causes with over £99.6 million awarded to date.

RZSS Highland Wildlife Park’s breeding pair of red pandas has lived there since 2012, although the species has been at the Park since 2008, and resident female Kitty has given birth and reared three kits. Red pandas are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and are native to the eastern Himalayas and south central China. Despite what their name suggests, red pandas are not related to giant pandas, but are distantly related to the raccoon family.

Red pandas, also known as the lesser panda, have features similar to giant pandas, markings similar to a raccoon and are slightly larger than domestic cats. They have reddish-brown fur with a bushy ringed tails and small ears, and their fur helps to keep them camouflaged in their natural habitat. Red pandas share some of their habitat with the giant panda and also like to eat bamboo; however, red pandas will supplement their diets with fruits, nuts, eggs, flowers and seeds. Their average lifespan is eight to 12 years with some red pandas living up to 15 years. Red pandas are generally quiet, but when close by, squeaking and chattering sounds, which sound similar to a chipmunk, can be heard. Red panda females normally give birth to one to four kits in mid-June to late July. They are listed as Endangered due to habitat loss and poaching and it is estimated that there are fewer than 2,400 red pandas left in the wild.

Photos of the red panda at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park by Alex Riddell

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About the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

  • The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland was founded by visionary lawyer Thomas Gillespie, the Society was set up in 1909 ‘to promote, facilitate and encourage the study of zoology and kindred subjects and to foster and develop amongst the people an interest in and knowledge of animal life’. The Society still exists to connect people with nature and safeguard species from extinction.
  • Please visit here for information on all our conservation projects
  • RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), a registered charity, charity no SC004064
  • RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is set in 82 acres of sloping parkland, just a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh’s bustling city centre. In its 101 year history the Zoo has been home to many famous animal residents, more recently the UK’s only giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, and the UK’s only koalas, including the first joey born on British soil in 2013
  • RZSS Highland Wildlife Park specialises in Scottish species, past and present, and other cold weather adapted animals from around the world.
  • The Park, which covers over 200 acres and is located within the Cairngorms National Park, is home to two male polar bears and the only female polar bear in the UK.
  • RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).

About People’s Postcode Lottery:

  • People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
  • People’s Postcode Lottery is an External Lottery Manager and manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different causes supporting a range of charities. For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/society
  • Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under certificate nr 000-000829-N-102511-010 and 000-000829-R-102513-009. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
  • People’s Postcode Lottery players support the following Trusts – Postcode African Trust, Postcode Animal Trust, Postcode Care Trust, Postcode Children Trust, Postcode Community Trust, Postcode Culture Trust, Postcode Dream Trust, Postcode Earth Trust, Postcode Global Trust, Postcode Green Trust, Postcode Heroes Trust, Postcode Local Trust, Postcode Planet Trust, Postcode Support Trust, People’s Postcode Trust and Postcode Sport Trust. These Trusts are funded entirely by players and support a variety of good causes. For further information on each charity, visit: www.postcodelottery.co.uk/charities
  • £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance with prizes every day. For further prize information visit: www.postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes
  • A minimum of 27.5% goes directly to charities and players have raised £99.6 Million for good causes across the country
  • Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
  • Players can sign up by Direct Debit, credit card or PayPal online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5.
  • This prize was part of the draw promoted by Postcode Children Trust

For further information please contact:

Rachel Goddard, PR Manager for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, on 0131 314 0312 or rgoddard@rzss.org.uk

OR media@rzss.org.uk


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