Panda – Back from the Brink

November 29, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books | 0 Comments |
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Panda – Back from the Brink is a new book featuring an extraordinary collection of photographs never before seen in the UK. Photographer Zhou Mengqi has dedicated more than 20 years to photographing the species in the mountains of Sichuan and produced some truly spectacular images that provide a rare glimpse into the world of this much-loved animal. The book, due to be released in January, is priced at £25.

Saraband Press Release

SNEAK PREVIEW OF BRITAIN’S NEW FURRY FRIENDS

Two giant pandas are eagerly awaited at Edinburgh Zoo, where they are believed to be arriving before the year’s end – and maybe as soon as later this month/early December.

In the meantime, we are delighted to announce a sneak preview into the life, history and habitat of the giant panda in the form of a beautiful book, Panda – Back from the Brink, featuring an extraordinary collection of photos never before seen in the UK.

Photographer Zhou Mengqi has dedicated more than 20 years to photographing the species in the mountains of Sichuan, whether in the protected reserves in and around the research centre at Wolong, in Sichuan Province, or in the wilds of the high mountain forests beyond. The results are truly spectacular images that provide a rare glimpse into the world of this much-loved bear. However this book is not solely a collection of glorious photographs, there are fascinating sections on the panda’s diet, history, how Manhattan socialite Ruth Harkness brought the first living panda to the West and influenced people’s perceptions of the animal, how ‘Pandaplomacy’ has been used to build friendships and forge bonds around the world, how pandas live, survive the cold and how they’ve become a living symbol of conservation.  And did we mention the hundreds of incredibly cute photographs of baby, toddler and adult pandas.

Panda: Back from the Brink is shortly to be published by Saraband, in association with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the leading publisher of Sichuan. Iain Valentine – Director of Animals, Conservation and Research at the RZSS and the man widely credited with making the panda deal possible – introduces the book with the warning that despite their iconic status, the giant panda “is still a gravely threatened species, with a population in the wild of only around 1,500, and a further 300 in captivity”. For this reason, the book focuses on the conservation issues affecting the panda. “Like everything else in the field of conservation,” says Valentine, “the protection of pandas is a responsibility we all share.”

Panda expert Henry Nicholls has called the book “Exquisite. A suitably stunning tribute to this incredible bear.”

Zhou Mengqi has won many awards for his photography in his home city of Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan Province, and is an acknowledged authority on pandas. Zhang Hemin, chief of the China Conservation and Research Centre of the Giant Panda at Wolong and long known as the “father of the giant panda” is one of the science consultants, along with fellow director of the CCRCGP Zhang Zhihe and Hu Jinchu, as well as Edinburgh’s Iain Valentine.

Panda: Back from the Brink by Zhou Mengqi
Published by Saraband, January 2012
ISBN:  978-1887354-89-9
Price:  £25 (price includes a donation to the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, which is owned & maintained by the RZSS)
Available from:  http://www.saraband.net as well as Edinburgh Zoo and Blackwells



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