The Red Panda Rescuers

Madison Lusk
November 1, 2023 / 5 mins read
The Red Panda Rescuers

The Forest Guardians of Red Panda Network are prepared to conserve red panda habitat, protect the ecosystem, and now rescue wildlife!

Red pandas are safest in protected areas of natural forest where they have trees to climb and familiar paths to roam. Yet, from time to time a red panda will wander into settled areas of Nepal, which can be incredibly dangerous for them with fast-moving vehicles and predators like stray dogs.

The already endangered species can get confused and frightened in these environments and lose their way home. That’s why Red Panda Network is training its Forest Guardians to not only protect red pandas in their natural habitat, but to also rescue red pandas when they’re in danger.

History of Red Panda Rescue in Nepal

Untitled_design.jpgForest Guardian Chenga Sherpa, transporting a red panda into the forest to release, 2016

In 2016, a female red panda wandered into the Taplejung district of eastern Nepal. Frightened and confused, the red panda could have easily gotten harmed in this uncharted territory. Luckily, trained Forest Guardians were able to intervene and rescue her, releasing her back into the wild.

Again, in March 2019, a red panda wandered into the Maijogmai Rural Municipality, where it was spotted being chased by free-roaming dogs. Fortunately, the red panda was rescued and released back into its natural habitat, away from the dangers of the municipality.

Only a month later, construction and trail maintenance in rural Chaite of eastern Nepal scared a red panda. It ran panicked and afraid onto the trail that a crew of local people were working on. They were able to encircle the animal, capture it, and place it carefully in a doko – a bamboo basket.

Red panda rescued in rural Chaite, April 2019

The local trail crew then contacted Mountain Organization Nepal, a local partner of Red Panda Network, who was able to return the red panda to its natural habitat.

Luckily, trained and compassionate locals were present to help these lost red pandas. However, not every story of red pandas wandering out of their protected home ends so nicely.

As an organization dedicated to protecting red pandas, Red Panda Network staff must be trained and ready to rescue red pandas in dangerous situations like these.

Because of this, we offered in-depth wildlife rescue training to our Forest Guardians this year, who are now equipped to protect and rescue red pandas in various situations!

Forest Guardians Are Red Panda Rescuers

DSC_0080.JPGForest Guardina Ramesh Rai at the wildlife rescue training

Ramesh Rai is a Forest Guardian in the Kanya Devi Community Forest of eastern Nepal's Panchthar district. He works with Red Panda Network to monitor and protect red pandas and is now prepared to rescue them!

Ramesh is one of twenty Forest Guardians in the Ilam and Panchthar districts who participated in our wildlife rescue training. In April 2023, these Forest Guardians joined a two-day-long training program facilitated by Mr. Purushotam Pandey, Veterinary Officer of the Directorate of Livestock & Fisheries Development.

DSC0768.JPGAttendees of the wildlife rescue training in Ilam, April 2023

In this training, Forest Guardians learned how to safely rescue wildlife in dangerous situations, like translocating wild water buffalo and controlling wild tigers. Not just experts in red pandas, our Forest Guardians are equipped with the knowledge and tools to be protectors of the entire ecosystem.

This training is part of our sustainable livelihood program, which provides local communities with environmental skills and knowledge to live harmoniously with their natural environment. With your monthly donations, we are able to train and hire local people as guardians of the forest and red panda protectors and rescuers!

The twenty Forest Guardians who attended this year’s training learned about the national laws and policies that guide wildlife rescue, as well as how to use the necessary tools for rescue, like tranquilizer darts.

DSC_0073.JPGForest Guardina Ramala Rai at the wildlife rescue training

You can help support the continued education of the Forest Guardians by giving monthly and joining our team of Panda Guardians! Your monthly donation goes towards the sustainable livelihood of the local communities across Nepal, including an immersive, on-the-ground wildlife rescue training coming up in 2024.

The wide-ranging and important work of the Forest Guardians would not be possible without the Panda Guardians, whose generosity enables us to invest in the education and skill-building of the local communities in Nepal.

With your support, Red Panda Network can continue its work in rescuing, protecting, and conserving red pandas through the education and empowerment of local communities!

Want to help strengthen red panda protection while getting stronger yourself? Join our Pushups for Pandas campaign for the month of November 2023!

Sign up for this fun, healthy, and free opportunity to do pushups to strengthen community-based red panda protection programs in Nepal. With your support, we can continue to save the red pandas by investing in the strength of our red panda conservation initiatives, like the Forest Guardians.

You can win awesome prizes, strengthen yourself, and support red panda conservation by participating in Pushups for Pandas today!