Help the Red Pandas Feel Right at Home in Asheville

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Help the Red Pandas Feel Right at Home in Asheville

From Friends of the WNC Nature Center

Red pandas Leafa and Phoenix are now at the WNC Nature Center! Red pandas are endangered with less than 10,000 living in the wild. Help secure this species' future and support their ongoing care in their new home!

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Recent Updates

Update #10

9 months ago

The outdoor habitat for our red pandas is complete! The exhibit will open to the public on Feb 14, 2019. Get a sneak peak by purchasing tickets to the soft opening! Two tickets for $250 and all proceeds benefit the red pandas.

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On February 14, 2019, red pandas Leafa and Phoenix were introduced to the public at a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting in front of their new habitat at the WNC Nature Center. 

The Friends of the WNC Nature Center is still fundraising to help support the costs of constructing the red panda habitat and the ongoing needs of caring for our two new red pandas, Your gift makes sure Leafa and Phoenix can thrive in their new environment!

The red pandas are the first species to be introduced to the Center as part our new Prehistoric Appalachia project, part of the Center’s 2020 Wild Vision. This exhibit offers a once in a lifetime educational experience for WNC residents.

Red pandas are endangered with less than 10,000 individuals living in the wild. The most successful red panda breeding program in the world is at Zoo Knoxville, and skeletal remains of an ancient ancestor of the red panda have been found at the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, TN.

A loss of natural habitat and poaching for their distinctive pelts have made the red panda an endangered species in its native habitat in Central Asia. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the WNC Nature Center will be working with the AZA’s Species Survival Plan program for the future of red pandas.

Protection of species through programs like the AZA’s SSP gives our guests a chance to connect with animals and care about conservation efforts. Education of the public about animals and conservation go hand in hand to create a human population that cares about conservation. Many species that were endangered or threatened have been recovered by AZA SSP Programs.

Red pandas Leafa and Phoenix have found themselves quite at home in Western North Carolina. Our climate and ecosystem are similar to the lower mountain forests of Central Asia where they are currently, and our habitat has been designed with the unique needs of the red panda in mind.

For many residents of WNC, especially children, the Nature Center provides an invaluable connection to the natural world around them. Most residents have never seen a red panda. By introducing guests to a relative of a prehistoric resident of this area, they are given the chance to connect with wildlife they may never have imagined before.

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
9 months ago

Update #10

The outdoor habitat for our red pandas is complete! The exhibit will open to the public on Feb 14, 2019. Get a sneak peak by purchasing tickets to the soft opening! Two tickets for $250 and all proceeds benefit the red pandas.

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
10 months ago

Update #9

It's official! The red panda habitat at your WNC Nature Center will be opening on Valentine's Day 2019! More information at wildwnc.org/news-and-blog/red-panda-exhibit-to-open-valentines-day.

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #8

Construction continues on the red panda outdoor habitat!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #7

Work on the red panda's outside habitat area continues!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
12 months ago

Update #6

Construction on their indoor habitat continues to move along and we've now started construction of their outdoor habitat! You can help support red panda by donating and spreading the word, thank you!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #5

Volunteers helped plant more bamboo last weekend as we continue to prepare for the arrival of the red panda! Bamboo makes up over 90% of their diet and we're excited to be able to grow a lot of that on site here at the Nature Center!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #4

Construction progress continues on the interior portion of the red panda habitat!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #3

The building that makes up the interior part of the red panda habitat is going up - exciting!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
about 1 year ago

Update #2

Construction has begun for the red panda exhibit! Thank you for helping to make this project a reality. Please continue to share this campaign with your family and friends to help us reach our fundraising goal for red panda, thank you!

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Friends of the WNC Nature Center posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #1

Thank you for helping us reach 25% of our goal! We look forward to bringing red panda to your WNC Nature Center! Please continue to help us spread the word so that we can make this project a reality, thank you!

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