The birth and survival of a panda cub signals hope for the world’s most cherished endangered animals, in NATURE’s The Panda Baby.
In late August of 1999, scientists at the San Diego Zoo marked a rare event they had struggled for years to bring about: the birth of a giant panda outside of China. It made headlines around the world. But the time for celebration was not yet at hand. Five other pandas had been born in the United States — and none had lived past the fourth day.
Against the odds, however, this tiny newcomer, Hua Mei, grew and thrived, and her survival has become a hallmark of the desperate international quest to save the giant panda, perhaps the most visible symbol of the world’s endangered animals.
The Panda Baby, with the aid of exclusive footage from the World Famous San Diego Zoo, as the institution is formally known, captures all the tense drama of Hua Mei’s birth and her survival through infancy.
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Online content for The Panda Baby was originally posted September 2001.