Love The Red Panda
Himalayas & Southwestern China
This 4-year-old red panda loves spending his time in the trees of his mountainous home. He is well adapted to the environment with his lovely fluffy coat which keeps him nice and warm when the temperature falls. But he’s noticed there has been a big drop in the places he can roam now. 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 and bamboo habits 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 petrol their territories and search for food. They mainly eat bamboo but occasionally eat 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 she gives birth, the female will begin gathering grass, brushwood, and leaves to build her nest in a tree hollow or rock crevice where 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 with 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 and 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 and higher altitudes to stay in their temperature range which they are very sensitive to.
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/
For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg
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.
The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.
Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.
Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world.
Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.
Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.
Please follow @gillieandmarcart
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
Animal World Veterinary Clinic Pte Ltd