Ever since I saw my first panda in San Diego Zoo back in 1988, I have been fascinated by this black and white bear, and after reading George B Schaller’s classic and inspiring book ‘The Last Panda’, they have always been of special interest to me.
I visited Sichuan Province in October 2008 only 3 months after the devastating earthquake that hit central China. During this and subsequent trips I had the opportunity to photograph giant pandas of all ages in situations revealing a lot of their little-known behaviours. I remember one evening back in 2009 when Fanny & I were looking though our panda photos, we looked at each other, and agreed there was a unique story to be told.
The idea behind “A visual Celebration of Giant Pandas” was both conservation and education. In general terms much of what we read about pandas these days can be very superficial, and often is centred on commercial and entertainment aspects.
Therefore, Fanny & I felt that there was a need for a non-scientific, independent book emphasising the not so well-known facts about the history, habitat, and behaviour of the giant panda, as well as what has been done to improve and protect its fragile habitat.
It also describes many of the other endangered species also living in central China, and includes photos of the takin, dhole, snow leopard, clouded leopard, golden snub-nosed monkey and the red panda among others.
It was 5 years and 10,000+ photos later, before ‘A visual celebration of Giant Pandas’, was ready for publishing, a long but most enjoyable journey.
All the authors’ proceeds from the retail sales of the book will be donated to WWF, and it is deliberate that the retail price is at a very affordable S$ 37.45, RM 75, or US 29.95. Now available in Singapore and Malaysia, and will also be available on Amazon.com in the US and UK from March 2013 but can be pre-ordered already now.
Sample pages from Google books: