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Protecting Pandas


A little more than 1,800 giant pandas exist in the wild. But scientists at the Chengdu Panda Base, in China, are working to increase that number. They are introducing captive-born pandas into the wild.

Qian Qian (pronounced chen chen) is a young panda who was born in captivity. She stars in the IMAX documentary Pandas. The film follows Qian Qian (shown above) as she prepares to leave the panda base and enter the natural world.

Most wild pandas live in the steep mountains of western China. So Qian Qian must learn how to survive in this difficult terrain. The film shows how scientists help the cub find her wild side.

Codirector Drew Fellman (pictured) said filming in the mountains was a challenge. “It’s very hard to hike through there,” he told TFK. Fellman and his crew had to keep up with Qian Qian. While pandas “look lazy and silly,” Fellman says, “they move pretty fast.” He hopes Pandas will inspire people to help animals. Narrated by Kristen Bell, the film is playing in select IMAX theaters.