Schoolgirl fundraising for giant pandas to have a slice of cake - The Solihull Observer
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8th Aug, 2022

Schoolgirl fundraising for giant pandas to have a slice of cake

Sarah Mason 23rd Feb, 2022 Updated: 24th Feb, 2022

A GIANT panda lover is hoping to celebrate her birthday with her favourite animals this year.

Matilda Mae Croft who attends Shirley Heath Junior School is fundraising to get Yang Guang and Tian Tian, the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo – a special cake made after falling for the pair during lockdown.

In the first lockdown the zoo was forced to close its doors and it set up webcams for would-be visitors to see some of their animals, including the pandas and koala bears.

Like many animal lovers Matilda spent some of her time in lockdown watching the pandas eating, sleeping and playing in the enclosure.

Her mum, Michelle Croft, said: “Matilda is desperate to actually see a giant panda after watching the web cam, we searched to see if there was anywhere local that had pandas and that’s when we found out that Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the entire UK that houses these amazing creatures.

“We found out that they love a special cake that costs £55 to make.

“Matilda said she wanted to raise money to get them a cake so they can eat it and celebrate her birthday in June.”

Matilda, armed with her favourite teddy panda Po, and her mum set up a crowdfunding page and raise the funds for the cake however, the Kings Heath pair wanted to see how much they could raise.

Michelle then got in touch with local businesses to see if they would donate prizes for their charity raffle and she said the response was amazing.

A long list of companies including Greens in Solihull, The Glee Club in Birmingham and The Wave in Coventry have given them vouchers, passes or tickets in aid of the pandas.

Raffles tickets can be purchased on Help The Pandas facebook page set up by Michelle.

Giant pandas are listed as vulnerable and there are fewer than 2,000 giant pandas left in the wild and their habitat is in decline.

The duo at Edinburgh Zoo arrived in 2011 as part of an arrangement between the zoo’s charity and the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Caring for Tian Tian and Yang Guang, including their food and overall healthcare, costs £35,000 each month.

Zoo bosses say once the pair leave the zoo next year they do not plan to house any more pandas.

For more or to get involved with the raffle visit

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