Curraghs Wildlife Park has announced it is donating £5,000 to to help red pandas in the wild through its conservation fund in memory of Kush.

Kush rose to prominence when he twice escaped from the wildlife park last year, becoming something of a celebrity and a popular attraction at the park.

Following his adventures the eight-year-old had become a dad for the first time in 2020 with partner Sara, with the proud pandas welcoming two more cubs this year.

Kush and Sara

The donation will be made to the Red Panda Network and used to expand and connect crucial habitat in Nepal, as well as educational and anti-poaching projects.

General Manager Kathleen Graham, said: ‘Kush was a poster boy for his species and definitely did his bit to raise awareness – so I know he’d approve. The Red Panda Network is making a real difference and this substantial donation will boost efforts to secure land and plant thousands of trees that will bridge fragmented habitats in a biodiversity hotspot.’

The donation in dollars will be used as follows; $5,000 will purchase one hectare, provide the native trees grown by the local community nurseries and provide the wages to employ a local land steward. A further $1,600 is going to the Panda Challenger program which will see the donation matched by corporate sponsors and used in anti-poaching work carried out in the region, so has a value of $3,200 to the Network .

In the wild red pandas are found in mountain forests of Asia and are classed as endangered by the International Union for the IUCN. Recent estimates suggest there are only 10,000 left in natural habitat, but that figure could be as low as 2,500 experts believe.

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