April 12th, 2011
Besides sharing awesomely cute firefox (a.k.a. red panda) cubs with the world, the Firefox Live project was intended to raise awareness of the species and their endangered status. To help achieve that goal, we partnered with the Red Panda Network on a contest that asked people to submit short videos detailing a natural area they’d like to preserve, with the winner receiving a 15-day panda trek through the forests of Nepal with the RPN team.
We received a bunch of great clips that were full of creativity and passion, and are proud to announce Andre Lewis as the winner. Andre is an aspiring wildlife documentary filmmaker, so we’re looking forward to seeing some great footage from his trip later this year. (Here’s his winning video.)
Also, Firefox Live will be closing down this Thursday after more than 500,000 hours of total cub-watching. It’s been tremendous fun seeing Spark and Ember become Internet sensations, but they’re full-grown now and the time has come for them to move on to even bigger and better things. In this case, their new job is the rather important task of helping ensure the survival of their species!
Under the recommendation of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, Spark will be heading to the Cleveland Metropark Zoo and Ember to the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas, with the goal of having cubs of their own next year. Although the end of an era is always a little bittersweet, this is a happy moment for the future of red pandas.
Huge thanks to Sarah Glass and the Knoxville Zoo for all their help and great work, and to all of you who watched the cubs (possibly at the expense of more traditionally productive activities) and participated in the project. If you’d like to continue to support Spark, Ember and red pandas in general, we recommend any of the following: