Photo by @amivitale // Twelve year old mother giant panda, Si Xue explores her enclosure at the Wolong China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province, China. Because of their low-energy diet, pandas avoid stressful situations and exertion.
It’s hard to imagine, but these animals were once as mythical and elusive as Bigfoot. They have been around for millions of years, but were only made known to the western world within the last century. The first panda was captured alive only in 1936.
After years of research, scientists have learned how to successfully breed pandas in captivity. With an adult population estimated at more than 1,864 wild pandas and 500 captive pandas, they have been upgraded from endangered to threatened. In a region where bad environmental news is common, China is on its way to successfully saving its most famous ambassador.
I have recently published my new book, Panda Love, featuring my long-term work on these adorable ambassadors made on assignment for National Geographic. See more on my feed @amivitale.
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