Giant Panda

NAME

TITLE
Love The Giant Panda

GENDER
Female

AGE
13

FOUND
China

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable

This 13-year-old lady loves the solitary life tucked away in her temperate forest. She spends her days roaming around always with the thought of bamboo on her mind. She must eat a lot of it to keep her energy levels up, particularly now that she is expecting a lovely little surprise, a cub. She must make sure everything is ready for her new arrival and will search for the perfect den, all the while eating as much bamboo as she can.

The icon for wildlife conservation, the giant panda is beloved around the world, and for good reason! These adorable bears, found only in the mountainous regions of central China, were heading rapidly towards extinction. But with a huge push for conservation efforts in the ‘60s, the giant panda has moved from the classification of rare to vulnerable, now with around 1,800 in the wild. There are 67 panda reserves in China that protect around two-thirds of the giant pandas in the wild and more than 50 per cent of the giant panda's habitat.

For most people, the only way to see a panda is in a zoo. Because of their iconic black and white markings, they become invisible in the masses of bamboo they hide in. And they spend a lot of time with the bamboo. They need to eat around 28 pounds of the stuff a day to fill them up since they get little energy from it, which takes half the day to accomplish. This makes them a folivore, a herbivore specializing in eating leaves, yet they belong to the order Carnivora since they still have the digestive system of a carnivore.

Pandas are solitary creatures with an incredible sense of smell to help them to avoid one another. The only time they come together is to mate. Mating in captivity has been something that is notoriously difficult with natural mating very rare. The female will give birth to 1-2 cubs at a time, but in the wild, only one of the twins will survive as she cannot produce enough milk for two. She will choose the stronger of the two and leave the other to die. The babies are tiny, blind, and pink. At this time they are very vulnerable to predators, especially if the mother leaves the den to feed. They will feed on their mothers nourishing milk and will stay with their mothers until they are up to 2 years old. Their mothers will wait around 2 years before giving birth again.

They are an incredibly important part of their temperate forests and are known as umbrella species. With the protection of the giant panda, many more species will be saved in the process as well as the local communities. Their greatest threat is habitat loss. Development of infrastructures such as roads, dams, and railways are shrinking and fragmenting their home making it harder for them to find new bamboo and mates. With a range already very small this is a real problem and further work to protect their habitat is crucial.

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER



WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg

SOURCES
https://www.wwf.sg/
https://www.iucn.org/
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
https://www.awf.org/

NAME
Peter Panda

TITLE
Love The Male Giant Panda

GENDER
Male

AGE
11

FOUND
China

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable

This young panda may be large but he is very hard to see! He spends most of his days hidden in the tall bamboo, his black and white fur acting as camouflage, and the only indications that someone is there being the disturbance of the bamboo and he yanks it down for his meal. As much as he enjoys his solitary life he is aware that it is nearly time to find a mate. The only problem is that he can’t find one! Instead, he discovers his forested home is being taken over by humans everywhere he looks, the bamboo torn down to make way for their construction. He hopes there is still someone left over here!

The iconic giant panda is thought to have roamed the earth for 8 million years but a fossil of a bear very similar to the panda was found in Spain which was 11.6 million years old! Today, and for a very long time now, these black and white bears have lived exclusively in the mountains of central China. To the Chinese people, the giant panda is very important. They are thought to be like warriors, tough enough to survive freezing temperatures, industrious enough to fend for themselves, strong enough to climb trees, and a gentle temperament to signify the importance of peace and friendship. Their black and white colours are thought to be the physical representation of Yin and Yang, the balance that creates peace and harmony.  

Pandas are very specialised when it comes to their favourite and almost exclusive food, bamboo. They have an extended wrist bone, specially adapted to act like a thumb which helps them to grip plants and munch with ease. Pandas will eat any of the many species of bamboo but it’s very important that they eat two specific species to give them all the nutrients they need and avoid starvation. Bamboo is very nutritionally poor so pandas need to eat a lot. But, what goes in must come out, pandas poop around 40 times per day!

With an incredible conservation push, aided by the change of mentality across the world from a provider of beautiful furs to one of an adored animal in need of help, the giant panda has had an inspirational story. But, although population numbers are going up, there is still a long way to go before this bear is safe. Mining, hydro-power, tourism, and infrastructure construction are the next key areas to tackle, working to protect the habitat of the panda while looking for alternative and more sustainable economic opportunities for local communities.

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER



WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg