It all started in 1955, when Fulcrum associate editor Bryan McNulty asked local jeweller Jack Snow to donate a stuffed panda he kept in his shop. Snow agreed and offered up the panda, nicknamed Pedro the Panda. The black and white bear became the game’s mascot…and the source of the annual match’s moniker. Each year, the Panda “trophy” was presented to the winning team.
In Pedro’s 25 years of faithful service the stuffed bear had been kidnapped on many occasions, buried under the field of Lansdowne Park, travelled across the country and more. But the 1979 Panda Game would be his final appearance. The Gee-Gees persevered with a 28-16 win which launched Ottawa into the playoffs on a high note and gave them the chance to bring the original Pedro to his true home for a final time.
A bronze replica of Pedro was created following his retirement in 1979 and allowed the Panda Game tradition to live on for many years. The original stuffed Panda was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a memento of the historic tradition.
In 1998, the Gee-Gees captured the bronze Pedro for the final time with a score of 59-17. The following year, the Carleton Ravens football team was dropped, putting an end to the annual rivalry game. The bronze replica was retired to the University of Ottawa archives.
With the return of the Carleton Ravens football program in 2013, a new Pedro was born. Local artist Dale Dunning was commissioned by the University of Ottawa and Carleton University to reproduce Pedro in brushed aluminum to help celebrate the revival of the Panda Game. The new replica has none of the historic markings of the original replica, providing a clean slate for new generations of Panda Game champions to make their mark on Pedro.
The legend of Pedro lives on.
Last year, over 17,500 fans attended the Panda Game, so come out and join the fun! Let's unite forces to bring Pedro the Panda back to uOttawa!
The last time the Gee-Gees brought Pedro back home was in 2013, following a 35-10 victory over the Ravens.