Search for Panda Ambassador Kicks Off in Edinburgh
September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Edinburgh Zoo today plays host to the launch of a pan-European quest to find ambassadors to speak up for one of the world’s most endangered species, the giant panda. The city of Chengdu, China, in association with Edinburgh Zoo, is offering the chance for three people to become global “Pambassadors” and tour the world with a message of conservation.
Performers dressed in panda suits will take over the city of Edinburgh today visiting some of its most famous landmarks including Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle. The pandas will greet and entertain the public while drawing support for the campaign.
Explorer and TV wildlife presenter of BBC’s “Deadly 60” and “Lost Land of the Tiger”, Steve Backshall, added his support to the campaign.
“This competition is the opportunity of a lifetime. To spend time with these amazing animals in Chengdu, and then to travel the world on a conservation tour, will be a life changing experience”, said Steve.
Edinburgh was chosen to stage the competition because of its links with the giant panda. Since the arrival of Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) at Edinburgh Zoo in December 2011, panda fans from around Europe have flocked to the city to see the bears.
Candidates can apply on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChengduPambassador, where they will be asked to prove their passion for protecting the giant panda. A shortlist of 24 participants will be invited to Edinburgh for the semi-final in October, all hoping to be picked as one of the final 3 global Pambassadors announced in Chengdu, China, in November. Their prize will be a five-month-long, panda conservation tour of 11 countries working alongside Chengdu Panda Base conservationists.
The panda performers will take the campaign across Europe covering five cities in five days: Edinburgh, Rome, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.