Panda help group supports plea for bamboo for Qiu

Sue Edwards and Jean Edwards presenting the cheque to Sue Woodgate

Sue Edwards and Jean Edwards presenting the cheque to Sue Woodgate

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DRUSILLAS in Alfriston has been inundated with donations from kind-hearted members of the public after appealing for bamboo for red panda Qiu.

People have come forward from far and wide, with contributions from the local community as well as America and other oversea locations.

Qiu, who is being looked after behind the scenes while she completes the required time in quarantine, was re-homed from Les Sables Zoo in France in September.

However, owing to a delayed shipment of bamboo from Italy, the zoo team found themselves running low of her favourite foliage.

After putting out an appeal, Drusillas received more than 100 phone calls and emails with offers of bamboo. The Flickr group Panda Paws and Friends also started a collection to raise money for additional plants and items of enrichment.

Panda Paws and Friends is made up of members from around the world, who share news and information on giant and red pandas and support various causes to help these animals.

Co-founders Dawn and Sue Edwards visited the zoo recently to present (pictured above, right) a cheque for £155 to zoo manager Sue Woodgate. Dawn said, “It is an honour to have been able to help provide some funds for Qiu’s bamboo collection. We hope that this will grow and provide her with a wonderful selection for many years to come and look forward to her future progress.

“We look forward to returning once she is out on exhibit and seeing her in her wonderful new home, as well as following her story for many years to come.”

Zoo manager Sue added, “We have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity that people have shown towards Qiu.

“We really appreciate the money donated by Panda Paws and Friends and want to say a big thank you to them and everyone who has taken the trouble to phone in. “We are currently working through the list and have been out to collect fresh bamboo from gardens in the local area.

“We look forward to introducing Qiu to our visitors when she moves into her new enclosure, which we hope will be ready by Easter.”