It’s hard not to melt a little when you see a panda. Just look at them. They’re like a goofy stuffed animal brought to life – slightly aloof yet laser-focused on what matters to them most. (Have you ever seen one go to town on a piece of bamboo? That stalk never stood a chance.)
Yet as much as we love to ooh and aah over how adorable they are, there’s something much more serious going on with these animals. For three million years now, giant pandas have called Southeast Asia home – roaming freely in the picturesque forests and living off the bountiful land. Now, they’re a species in crisis. The remote mountains of Sichuan, China has become the last refuge for the pandas, whose loss of habitat has accelerated at alarming rates. Extinction is a serious threat.
Thankfully, there’s hope.
Animal Planet’s Panda Republic follows two cutting-edge panda centers in China who are working endlessly to save the beloved animals through increasing the population in captivity and by breeding them to be released back in the wild.
Check out a special sneak peek of the special here and tune in to the two-hour event tonight at 8/7c!
(And 24-hour panda-monium, check out Animal Planet L!VE’s Panda Cam.)