ACT News

Geelong takes Canberra PS jobs, and now our famous cat Zanda Panda

The claws are out in the tussle between Canberra and Geelong.

Not only is Geelong set to take up to 250 public service jobs from Canberra, now the Geelong Advertiser has claimed Australia's most famous cat on social media, Zanda Panda, as the city's own.

Zanda, a Canberra resident since March 2013, has 1200 Twitter and 20,000 Facebook followers and Australian fans include Dave Hughes, Chrissie Swan, Samantha Jade, Jessica Rowe, Steve Vizard and wacky-haired Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons. 

A post on Zanda's Facebook page this week said a story in the Geelong Advertiser "even claimed that I was a Geelong local when I'm actually from Melbourne and currently live 9 hours away in Canberra!!".

An email from Zanda's managers said: "we thought you may be interested to know that the city of Geelong is trying to claim Zanda the cat as their own celebrity cat despite him being a Canberra local.

"He does have some family in the Geelong region so is a regular visitor, however he has never lived there or claimed to have resided there."

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Apparently Zanda recently visited Geelong as part of his ongoing "Travel Cat Adventures", which involves the feline having his photo taken at attractions throughout Australia.

Two sisters, both public servants who prefer to be anonymous, make up Zanda's management team and they are organising ways for Zanda to raise $100,000 for Alzheimers Australia.

Zanda's popularity is not surprising given the obsession of internet users with felines. International internet sensation Grumpy Cat has more than 6 million Facebook followers.

Zanda - a northsider from the Belconnen area - is described as a cat with dreams of becoming a celebrity but there have been some challenges.

"I was bred to be a Scottish Fold cat, however my ears didn't fold," Zanda's web page said.

"So basically I'm a dud, I was officially called a Scottish Longhair cat! I live in Melbourne, Australia with my management team and my brother Levi the Samoyed."

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