A photograph of a red panda on its special climbing wall at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo won first place in an international competition sponsored by the Hose2Habitat organization.
Hose2Habitat, headquartered in Maryland, is a nonprofit organization that upcycles donated discarded materials to build items designed to improve the well-being of wild animals in human care. (The name comes from the old firehoses that two volunteer first responders donated to start the project.)
The photo by Uriel Nouri, a keeper in the Biblical Zoo’s carnivore section, shows two of the zoo’s three red pandas – named Ying, Yang and Tika – playing on the structure built for them by the carnivore keepers led by Binyamin Feinsod.
The team worked with Hila Bar, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem student who also works at the zoo, together with at-risk youth from the Makers organization.
Makers teaches at-risk youth about technology, sustainability and the environment through activities, rather than passive learning.
Bar, the staff and the youngsters planned and constructed a safe yet challenging climbing wall to help the red pandas stay physically and mentally fit.
The keepers place tasty treats on the wall’s bumps to give the pandas incentive to climb, a natural behavior of red pandas.