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Interview of  David ALGRANTI, the French pandas ambassador in China realised
the 15th of novembre 2010
 
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Thanks to David for giving me this interview when he just came back from China. Remember, David was one of the six finalists of the competition launched jointly by the WWF end the research base of Chengdu. 62000 candidates answered present at roll back and only twelve candidates were selected for the final by internet surfers and experts in preservation of fauna and flora. Then the final which took place on 29th september, kept six candidates who spent one month and a half as pandas keepers in Chengdu, the Sichuan capital.

David, why did you apply for the international compettition, to become a pandas ambassador ?

I arrived at work one morning and one colleague gave ma an article about the competition and told me " David, it's for you, you ARE one panda and you have to participate"I was leaving my job and it was a good opportunity, but I didn't know if it was serious. So I visited the website and I saw that the WWF was one of the organizers; I was confident and I saw that i only had two days to apply. I didn't have time to think about it and I entered the competition. it seemed to be a dream and I didn't think that I would be the winner, it was too good to be true. Then everything went very fast and I was in Chengdu without understanding what had happened to me !

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© David Algranti

Before that, did you already love bears and were you involved in their protection ?
 
I have always loved animals and could have done this competition for other species. But I have always been fond of pandas above all. Other bears too, but particularly pandas because they are more peaceful and more captivating.Besides, people who know me ( and even those who don't know me a lot ) have a tendency to give me bear names, like " teddy bear" or " panda" because I am a little plump and beanded... I don't know, it's obviously what I inspire.

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© David Algranti

What was your job really about in Chengdu ?

For one month and a half, I have been an assistant of a pandas keeper : everyday I used to clean their enclosures ( inside and outside) removing their excrements and the numerous bamboo remains, then I used to bring them fresh bamboo and from the outside of the enclosures, I used to feed them with apples and bread using a pole

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I often washed them with a hosepipe ( they like it specially when it's warm ) and I took part in their taming : we teach them to stretch their arms for a blood test or to lie on their back for an examination with ultrasound. It's then a useful taming, which avoid risky anaesthesia. Then we had one or two hours classes. This is for our daily basic work, but sometimes, we had the opportunity to play with one year old pandas, we also held two or three months babies in our arms, approached red pandas, visited the base at night...We had a lot of exercices such as playing the touristic guide and sharing our knowings with the public.
 
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© Ali Shakorian


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Do you think that this experience is going to change your way of life ?

I have just come back from China to Paris and it's for me so unreal that I sometimes wonder if it was a dream. We have the title of " pandassadors" for one year, but we don't know what it means really. We only know that we have to promote the fantastic work of the base of Chengdu and the WWF, but spending one month and a half with pandas don't make us experts in zoology or environment.


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Before this adventure, I loved the animals and cared about environment but I was watching this from a distance. I didn't think that I could do anything, but now I don't want to stop here, so I want to commit myself concretly with the WWF, make new efforts everyday to be responsible towards environment. 
Then if you lead actions for bears and if I can help you in one way or another, don't hesitate to contact me.
 
 

Creation date : 16/11/2010 : 19:44
Last update : 21/02/2012 : 19:44
Category : - Interview of David Algrandi
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