WNC Nature Center seeks crowdfunding support for red panda exhibit


The WNC Nature Center is asking the public for $154,200 in crowdfunding support for a new red panda exhibit. Check out the Fundly campaign here. The campaign has raised more than $75,000 so far.

The nonprofit Friends of the Nature Center has already pledged the money for the exhibition. Construction on the red panda habitat area at the center is well underway.

The addition of red pandas, as well as a number of other animal exhibits, is part of the Nature Center’s Prehistoric Appalachia project, which is part of its 2020 Vision plan for growth.

Red pandas, thought to be native to the Southern Appalachian mountains, are endangered, with fewer than 10,000 individuals living in the wild, according to the center’s fundraising page. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the center will be working with the association’s species survival plan program to help nurture them.

The WNC Nature Center, which sees more than 100,000 visitors a year, with attendance growing each year, and is subsidized in part with taxpayer money. It is home to about 60 species and features a restaurant, a gift shop and an historic barn.

The WNC Nature Center is finishing up improvements to its entrance that will allow the center to make other improvements, including the addition of parking and the development of a permanent butterfly exhibit.

The WNC Nature Center has more than 100,000 visitors a year. It is home to about 60 species. The center facilities include a restaurant, a gift shop, an historic barn and a newly renovated front entrance.