My name is Andreas Freund and I live in Frankfurt, Germany. I work full-time as a controller in a distribution company for medical devices. Otherwise, I am committed to giant pandas and in 2012 I founded Giant Panda Friends International, a small, German, non-profit organization focused on giant panda protection.
I am trying to raise funds to support the giant pandas in China. To date I have collected enough money to adopt 5 giant pandas. Since 2007, with the exception of 2008 due to the earthquake, I have come to China in March and November to visit Wolong, Ya’an, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. I participated in the internship program at the Chengdu Panda Base in 2007; a pivotal moment for me.
But why are pandas so interesting? Some consider pandas to be quite boring, eating and sleeping for most of the day. What kind of life is that? With patience and careful observation, you will discover a more interesting and magical side to these creatures. It may take a while, but with time, the miracle will be recognized.
Giant panda conservation became my life’s work in 2007 when I visited China for the first time and laid eyes on a real life panda. It was a magic moment and a switch flipped inside me. I knew that giant pandas were among the most endangered animals in the world, but at that moment it became dear to me that I had to do something to help their plight.
A deep concern for these animals has never left me and supporting the struggle for their survival is the most important mission for my life. I want to leave my children and grandchildren a world in which there are at least 2,000 giant pandas in the wilds of Sichuan, China. To work for the conservation of giant pandas and to see them reintroduced into the wild, no longer dependent on human caretakers would fulfill a lifelong dream.
One of my greatest desires is to work and live in China. Watching giant pandas each day in a natural environment would allow me to highlight details of their lives on video to share with the world. Fundraising for our organization, Giant Panda Friends International, and recruiting members would aid the work in preserving China’s national treasure.
I hope that one day I may go out into the world to proclaim the message of nature conservation for the benefit of these noble giant pandas. In so doing I will fulfill a promise made to a young giant panda in 2007 on my trip to China; a promise that I would devote myself to preserving this species.