Not Quite Wild: Pandas
Shot at the Wolong Research and Breeding Center, China in May 2007 with the Canon 1Ds II and 70-200 f/2.8
In 2007, I was fortunate to visit the Wolong Research Center in China, the premier giant panda research and breeding center in the world at the time. It was an amazing place located in the high mountains - a 10 hour drive from Chengdu - where the lakes were as clear and beautiful as the sky. And, it was a real treat seeing and holding these baby pandas. Their padded hands were so soft and we we were full of joy as the furballs wiggled on our laps. Unfortunately, the Wolong Research Center was destroyed in a major earthquate in 2008. But fortunately, all but 3 of the 64 giant pandas were saved albeit still tragic. It took several years to rebuild new panda research facilities and the main one is in Chengdu.
The number of giant pandas surviving in the wild was down to 1,600 when we visited in 2007; and, pandas were the first species to be declared Endangered. Fortunately, the numbers stabilized and according to the World Wildlife Fund in 2014, the number of pandas was up to 1,864. The giant pandas are no longer on the Endangered List but are still considered Threatened. Bravo to successful conservation efforts and our donations.
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 - 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.