Gardeners asked to help pandas with festive feast

Red panda eating bamboo at Drusillas Park SUS-141112-165209001

Red panda eating bamboo at Drusillas Park SUS-141112-165209001

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Drusillas Park is appealing to keen Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford gardeners to donate any fresh bamboo they can spare to help feed their family of four red pandas this Christmas.

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

With two extra mouths to feed following the arrival of twins in June, the zoo’s own plantation is struggling to keep up with the greedy group.

Anmar and Mya are growing fast and are eating the zoo out of house and home. Zoo manager, Sue Woodgate, is therefore keen to stock up the Christmas cupboard so the pandas can enjoy their own festive feast.

Sue said, “The babies are now six months old and are out and about.

“They’re nearly the same size as their parents, Mulan and Tibao, and can eat just as much!”

“We are able to feed them alternative pellets but they much prefer any fresh food on offer and it would be a shame not to oblige this, at Christmas time especially.

“We are therefore looking for any unwanted rooted plants as well as any off cuts that can be spared. Most bamboo is good as long as it’s tall, fresh and healthy plants, although black bamboo is their favourite. If anyone can help please call 01323 874100.”

The red pandas will also be crossing their paws for a white Christmas this year.

Native to the forest regions of China and Nepal, they are thriving following the recent drop in temperature – it would seem ‘the cold never bothered them anyway!’