Drusillas launches urgent appeal for more bamboo

A red panda munching on bamboo at Drusillas Park
A red panda munching on bamboo at Drusillas Park

Drusillas Park is appealing for bamboo donations after the zoo’s hungry red pandas have chomped their way through a little more than anticipated.

Demonstrating a very healthy appetite, resident red pandas Mulan and Anmar have kept their keepers busily searching for more and more food.

Keeping the creatures satisfied with enough roots and shoots is an ongoing battle for the award-winning zoo in Alfriston. The group’s appetite for bamboo is insatiable, with each individual consuming up to 2kg a day.

Zoo Manager Sue Woodgate said, “Our own plantation has been struggling to keep up with the pandas’ enormous appetite. If any green-fingered individuals out there have some fresh bamboo they can spare for our red pandas, we would be so grateful!”

The zoo is looking for any unwanted rooted plants. Any bamboo is good as long as it’s tall and fresh. Black bamboo is a particular red panda favourite, and both Mulan and Anmar enjoy small, leafy stems.

In the wild these colourful and charismatic creatures inhabit the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal. They live on their own or in small family groups and live almost entirely on bamboo. Drusillas’ red pandas are no exception to this rule and have been munching their way through any bamboo they can get their little paws on.

Sue added, “Normally we would look to our own grounds to supply the required bamboo but our gardening team have now had to ask us to stop ‘raiding’ their bamboo as there is very little left. We are therefore appealing to the public to help. Please contact Drusillas on 01323 874100 with any donations.”