Although giant pandas spend most of the day eating and sleeping, they love to climb and play. Here a year-old cub explores the treetops in an enclosure at the Wolong center of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, where captive-bred pandas are trained to live in the wild. If the animal passes tests to gauge its survival skills and instincts, it will be released into the mountains.By Ami Vitale
Black rhinos are almost extinct in Kenya. This young calf had been orphaned when poachers killed its mother, and was hand-raised at Lewa. Most people in Kenya never get the opportunity to see the wildlife living around them, especially at such close quarters. Attention is often given to the effect of poaching on wildlife, but there is little focus on indigenous communities, who are on the frontline in the clash between poachers and armed game wardens.
Peek a boo! A panda cub learns to eat bamboo at the Wolong China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda. Chinese scientists and their international counterparts have cracked the puzzle of successfully breeding pandas in captivity and now they are sending these captive born pandas back into the wild. In a region where bad environmental news is common, the Giant Panda might prove to be the exception and a testament to the perseverance and efforts of Chinese scientists and conservationists. By breeding and releasing pandas, augmenting existing populations, and protecting habitat, China may be on its way to successfully saving its most famous ambassador and in the process put the wild back into an icon.
Sunday afternoon frolicking with two baby pandas named Sen Sen and Xin Xin at the Gengda Giant Panda base that is part of the Wolong Natural Reserve and China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
Imagine Makoto entering culinary school for the first time, and finding that it’s not all buttercream and nutmeg. It’s like Hell’s Kitchen, but worse. Three people go home crying in the first week. One instructor yells like a drill sergeant. Anybody not quick enough, or precise enough, or forgetting to respond with “yes, chef” after every instruction receives reprimand.
The saying goes that baking is a science, but nobody told her that her text book would read like a chemistry book. There are ratios and formulas. Amino acids and ions and chemical reactions. There are no more tablespoons or cups or pinches of salt. Every ingredient must be calculated, scaled, weighed. Suddenly study sessions with Ami feel vital.
At first she’s way out of her depth. How can her piddly little kitchen creations compare to the masterpieces her teachers are capable of? But she knows how to work hard and she knows how to stand her ground against challengers. And soon Makoto Kino is at the top of her class. Winning awards and competitions.
Because she is a talented baker. She has always been a talented baker. But Makoto Kino is also tough as nails. She always thought that her strength and her domesticity were at odds with each other, but it is the combination of both that makes her achieve her dreams. She can bake the daintiest little cakes ever created, and she can toss 25-pound bags of flour over one shoulder.
A mother and her cub snuggle at the Bifengxia Giant Panda base in Ya'an City, China. The cub is about 6 months old and spends most of the time sleeping on top of a tree. The center is a part of the China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), Wolong Nature Center.
Mama and her one year old cub play at the Wolong China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda. This captive-born cub will eventually be sent back into the wild if it passes all its training.
This baby panda was born to Qian Qian on June 27th at Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan Province, China. Panda cubs do not open their eyes until they are six to eight weeks of age and are not mobile until three months. Similar to human babies, pandas roll before they start walking, but are not very graceful for a few more months.