After thriving for 8 million years in the high bamboo forests of mountainous western China, it took only a few centuries of human expansion to push the giant panda to the brink of extinction. Yet today, with pandas numbering less than 1,600, there is new hope for the species—thanks to a massive effort by the Chinese government to turn the tide.
“Pandas: The Journey Home” is a groundbreaking natural-history film that captures for the first time the highly endangered pandas breeding at the Bifengxia Panda Base, and being prepared for release back into the wild at Wolong National Nature Reserve, both in the People’s Republic of China.
Recently, with giant pandas numbering less than 1,600 worldwide, the story of this beloved creature took a surprising twist. The same Chinese government that built the colossal and controversial Three Gorges Dam is throwing its massive political heft and technological prowess into reversing the panda population’s freefall.