There are only as few as about 1900 pandas remaining on Planet Earth. Among them around 1600 live in natural habitats of China and almost 300 other are fostered in captivation, a majority in Chinese Zoos. Among the zoo dwellers, 15 of them are residing in foreign zoos transferred from China to other countries as the part of their Panda Diplomacy.
During January last year, two Pandas joined the Beauval Zoo in France. The Chinese policy pandas have been bought on a ten-year loan of around one million dollar per year. These pandas have now paved the way to establish an innovative idea for the sustainability of the zoo.
With an aim to complete by Spring 2014, the zoo will be attached with a new $3 million processing plant for converting biological waste into biogas and electricity. Pandas eat around 35 kilos of bamboo and excrete almost 30 kilos every day. So that means the pandas, named Yuan Zi and Huan Huan, meaning Chubby and Happy, will be major stake holders in electricity production.
A part of the electricity produced from the plant will be used in the zoo itself. During winter season, elephants need to be kept warm, and that requires electric power.
The plant is expected to save about 40 percent of the zoo’s gas bill. French electric utility company EDF will get the rest of the biogas so as to convert it into electric power. This initiative aimed at sustainable development, is best suited for a long term application says Delphine Delord of the Beauval Zoo.