I am into my last 9 weeks of my Endangered Species made from balloons and it is getting progressivly more difficult to choose what to make each week, this week however was an easy one, On a recent trip to Essex I was lucky enough to visit Colchester zoo, the home of many amazing animals and a lot of excellent conservation work. While at the zoo I happened to be near the Red Pand area while a keeper was in the enclosure and it was the first time I had actually seen Red Pandas up and about doing things rather than laying on a branch asleep. We had a nice chat with the keeper and he told us lots of useful information which made me want to feature these cute little chaps in my project

Just like the Giant Panda, Red Pandas eat mostly Bamboo, in fact the name panda is said to come from a Nepali word meaning bamboo or plant eating animal. Bamboo is a very difficult plant to digest and more of the nutrients passes straight through the Red Panda digestive system, during the summer months the Red Panda makes up for this by eating insects and fruit. 

The Red Panda can be found in mountainous areas from Nepal to Myanmar and in parts of western China, because of their dependence on bamboo they live only where the plant can be found, usually on the southern slopes of mountains. Many zoos around the world have Red Pandas and take part in management programs to ensure the survival of this species for future generations.

The WWF is working hard to help the Red Panda populations in the wild, they are helping to monitor the animals and keep track of them and are working towards reintroducing them back into some areas.  As with many of the species I have featured the Red panda populations are affected by human and in the case of these animals a major problem are the Nepalese Yak herders, the WWF are working with Yak herders to help reduce the human impact on the fragile habitat, they also encourage alternative means of income such as tourism and the production of yak dung briquettes.

Check out more about the Red Panda here - http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/red-panda
One of the main reasons I am doing this project is to raise awareness for many of the threatened animals on our delicate planet, one way you can help is to share this and any of my posts on social media. You can also donate to my just giving page. It is a safe secure method of donating money to the WWF and ALL of the money goes directly to the charity - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies