Yanni was inspired to help protect giant pandas after he “adopted” a two-month old panda cub at the Chinese Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in October 2011. Yanni was the first western artist to be given the honor of symbolically adopting one of Chengdu’s pandas (a privilege reserved almost exclusively for nations, rather than personalities). He named the panda “Santorini” after one of the most beautiful islands in his native Greece. “Santorini” is also one of Yanni’s most well known compositions and contains the word “Irini,” which means “peace” in Greek. He views his adopted panda as “the beautiful panda of peace.”
As part of the collaboration, WWF and Yanni have created a $50 Limited Edition “Santorini” Panda Adoption kit, allowing supporters to symbolically adopt a panda. As a thank-you to those individuals who support WWF’s efforts through this program, supporters will receive a symbolic adoption kit that includes a plush panda, a photo of Yanni and Santorini, a DVD with exclusive content (including footage of Yanni and Santorini), a certificate of adoption, a re-useable tote bag, and an information card with a panda photo.