EDITION 1 - SINGAPORE - 19 May 2023 - 18 May 2024
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
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Love The Red Panda
Himalayas & Southwestern China
This 4-year-old red panda loves spending time up in the trees. He is well adapted to the mountainous environment with his lovely fluffy coat that keeps him nice and warm when the temperature falls. But he’s noticed there has been a big drop in the places where he can roam. Often, he will head off to one section of the forest, only to find the trees have all been cut down along with his favourite snack, bamboo. He likes to avoid these places anyway because that’s where the people are and they love his fluffy tail.
Red Pandas are the ridiculously adorable creatures that munch on bamboo high up in the mountains. While they share a name with the giant panda, they are not closely related and are the last surviving member of their genus. Living at very high altitudes, the red panda has a few very important adaptations to survive. With big bushy tails, they balance themselves along the branches of trees and snuggle up in their fluff to survive winter.
They can be both nocturnal and crepuscular (active during twilight) and spend their days asleep on tree branches or in tree hollows. When they wake up, they give their beautiful fur a good clean like a cat would before setting out to patrol their territories and search for food. They mainly eat bamboo but occasionally indulge on small mammals, birds, eggs, flowers, and berries. They are always on the lookout for their predators which include the snow leopard, mustelids (the family including badgers, weasels, and martins) and humans. If they feel like they cannot escape, they stand on their hind legs to look bigger and get ready to defend themselves.
Red pandas can start reproducing at 18 months but are not fully mature until they are 2-3 years old. Usually solitary animals, mating is one of the few times they come together. Before giving birth, the female will begin gathering grass, brushwood, and leaves to build her nest in a tree hollow or rock crevice; here she will give birth to a litter of 1-4 cubs. The cubs are born both deaf and blind and the mother must spend 60-90% of her time caring for them. After the first week, she will start to spend more time away, coming back every few hours to nurse and groom them. The cubs will open their eyes at 18 days old and are fully weaned at 6-8 months. The cubs will often stay with their mother until she has her next litter the following year.
There are only 10,000 red pandas left in the wild. Their biggest threat comes from humans. They get caught in traps meant for other animals and are sometimes caught for their fur, particularly in southwest China where their bushy tails are highly prized to make hats. Habitat loss, fragmentation from human expansion and clearcutting is also a major issue making it difficult for some populations to cross over, causing inbreeding. But climate change is also a very real threat. As temperatures rise, the red panda needs to climb to higher altitudes just to stay comfortable. They can only withstand a set temperature range which they are very sensitive to.
HOW TO HELP
Inspired by animals that Gillie and Marc met on their travels, we invite the public to discover and interact with these beautiful creatures up close and personal – this allows audiences to connect, take photographs and share their favourite species with friends and family.
ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.
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If you are interested in buying art related to the Love the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march