It’s the fluffiest black and white date in the diary … Adelaide Zoo staff, volunteers, members, supporters and visitors are celebrating the birthdays of Giant Pandas Fu Ni and Wang Wang with their annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic event.
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic event marks Giant Panda Fu Ni’s 15th birthday (last Tuesday) and Wang Wang’s upcoming sweet sixteenth birthday on the 31st August.
“Wang Wang and Fu Ni are much-loved Giant Pandas,” says Elaine Bensted, CE of Zoos SA. “As well as being fantastic ambassadors for their species, they play an important role in helping us to understand more about their species and saving them from extinction.
“We are very much looking forward to seeing our members and visitors enjoying their birthday and thank them for supporting us. We’d also like to thank AGL, who sponsor the Bamboo Forest and help us ensure the best welfare and wellbeing of Wang Wang and Fu Ni, SA Water who support the critical bamboo plantation that feeds the two pandas and Repromed, who provide their amazing expertise as our Clinical Support Sponsors.
“This year we also provide extra thanks to Adelaide’s Chinese community – they have been proactive and generous in their support of Adelaide Zoo as they recognised the challenges we have faced over the last 17 months. This financial support will assist some capital projects at Adelaide Zoo,” finished Elaine.
“We always look forward to celebrating the Giant Pandas’ birthdays,” says Dr Phil Ainsley, Director of Adelaide Zoo. “This year is no different, in fact we all need something to smile about and watching the Giant Pandas provides just that as well as an all-important connection with nature.
“Although a time of celebration, it’s important to remember the plight of Wang Wang and Fu Ni’s wild cousins. Theirs is a vulnerable species that needs our ongoing help,” finished Phil.
As well as plenty of love from keepers and adoring visitors, the pair will receive special dragon themed enrichment created by Zoos SA’s BEEZA volunteer group with favourite foods and treats inside.
Wang Wang (Net Net) was born on 31 August 2005 and Fu Ni (Lucky Girl) on 23 August 2006 both at Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, China and moved to Adelaide Zoo together in November 2009.
The pair are part of the international Giant Panda research, conservation and breeding program designed to preserve the species. Listed as vulnerable by the International Union of the Conservation of Nature, there are thought to be only 1864 Giant Pandas left in the wild.
In an endeavor to guide international efforts to create and conserve suitable habitats for Giant Pandas, Zoos SA, alongside its Chinese counterparts, is helping to develop scientific knowledge about pandas’ nutritional requirements and reproductive biology.
This year’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic includes a Mr Oopy Bubble Show, special keeper talk and enrichment, Giant Panda bath, free Melba’s chocolates, airbrush tattoos and giveaways from North Adelaide Dental.
All visitors are asked to adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines from SA Health which includes the wearing of masks at all times (except when eating/drinking), using QR code on entry, maintaining social distancing, good hygiene and pre-booking tickets online at www.adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets
Adelaide Zoo’s Bamboo Forest is proudly sponsored by AGL.