Chengdu Begins the Search for 3 Global Panda Ambassadors
SHANGHAI, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Chengdu Panda Base, in partnership with WildAid, will announce the launch of the 2012 Global Pambassador campaign, a 3 month competition to develop global knowledge and awareness about giant panda conservation. The campaign will recruit 3 panda-lovers who are passionate about protecting the endangered species, and have a strong sense of social responsibility. These individuals will serve in their official capacity as a “Chengdu Pambassador” for one year, and will be asked to participate in a “Global Panda Conservation Tour” in 2013. International basketball superstar Yao Ming will attend the press conference to show his support for the campaign.
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Chengdu Pambassador 2012 builds on the success of the 2010 program , in which 6 finalists were chosen from more than 60,000 global conservation activists who applied online for the opportunity to become a panda care-taker at the Panda Base in Chengdu for one month.
With a new theme “Panda Quest — Be the next Pambassador,” this year’s program shifts the focus from panda breeding and rehabilitation in captivity to re-introduction into the wild. Pambassador finalists will take a unique journey into the natural habitat of wild pandas and participate in the current panda release plan, designed to re-introduce captive bears into the wild.
“The next step in strengthening and increasing the panda population is to return them safely to the wild,” said Dr. Zhang Zhihe, Director of Chengdu Panda Base. “With careful preparation, our goal is to achieve long-term sustainable growth through natural reproduction in the wild. Relying solely on breeding and rehabilitation measures will not be enough to ensure the survival of these beloved animals in the future.”
The competition is designed to elicit contestants’ panda conservation knowledge, ability to share the conservation message, and attention to wild habitat preservation. The participants will start their journey on Facebook, where a 3-week competition will be held to determine 24 semi-finalists from 4 different regions. Local activities in the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, and mainland China will produce 16 finalists who will travel to Chengdu to go “Into the Wild” (in-situ) with Chengdu Pandas, where 3 global Pambassadors will be selected.
After receiving their official designation as Chengdu Pambassadors 2012, the three final Pambassadors will participate in the “Global Panda Conservation Tour” in 2013, a globe-trotting experience to visit pandas hosted in 11 countries and initiate local activities to raise awareness for endangered animal protection.
“The giant panda is a unique creature, loved by people around the world and especially the Chinese. These pandas are native to Sichuan, and it is our duty to care for them and to help them thrive back in their home, in the wild” said Yao Ming. “Pandas are one of the most endangered species in the world, and it is critical that we preserve and protect this special animal, which is why I am working with the Chengdu Panda Base to make the Pambassador program as successful as possible.”
The Chengdu Panda Base is a non-profit organization engaged in wildlife research, captive breeding and conservation education. The Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987 when six weak giant pandas were rescued from the wild and rehabilitated to full strength. Today, the Chengdu Panda Base is home to 108 healthy bears – the world’s largest captive population of pandas.
Ogilvy Public Relations for Chengdu Panda Base
SOURCE Chengdu Panda Base