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Giant Pandas in the Wild: Saving an Endangered Species Hardcover – October 11, 2002
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Giant pandas, those archetypically cute bears that embody the concept of endangered species, live in very remote areas in the mountains of China and are rarely photographed in the wild. Panda researcher Zhi, who has studied the animals since 1985, presents a photographic essay of her years of research. Writing in the first person of the trials of conducting fieldwork in remote and precipitous areas, of the poverty that leads villagers to poach the local animals, and of political machinations necessary to set aside land for the pandas, Zhi enthralls the reader with the wonder of studying such an enigmatic and enticing animal. Introductory essays by George Schaller and several other champions of the giant panda set the tone, and a short bibliography guides readers to some classic works on the panda. Giant pandas are perennially popular animals and the photos are unique, making this book welcome in all libraries. Nancy Bent
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"Giant Pandas in the Wild entertains as it informs readers about the current condition of the giant panda, and what it will take to ensure its continued existence."--Wildlife Conservation
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Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter opens with great detail of the work in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan. The ornamented descriptions feel slightly forced, though I was still overjoyed to carry on after many tens of pages-a feeling that lasted for the entirety of my time with the book and made it a quick read. The book is large in physical size, which is why there are not so many pages. Because of this, there are numerous photos that very much remind one of the immersive closeness portrayed in much-loved 'Gorillas in the Mist'.
The book shows the Chinese people's, the government's and the zoologist's view of panda management through the 20th century to the 21st. It details quirks such as why the captive death rate was previously so high in infants and the history of the giant panda's incorrect classification. Inside readers will find biographies of several pandas and their offspring alongside stories of the horror of biology and the great feeling of seeing conserved land return to nature so its extraordinary ability to heal itself can begin.
This book is a private experience showing the early work of respected individuals endeavoring to understand the panda and its complicated life. It should be considered a successful blend of memoir and scientific text detailing the first discoveries that laid the foundation for everything we know about the panda.