8534900

Ami Vitale. Back to the Wild.

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Hua Yan (Pretty Girl), a two-year-old female, is one of the world's most endangered animals. She was released into the wild after being born in captivity at the Wolong Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province, China. And as she trundled off into the wild, she took hope for her entire species with her.

The slow and steady incline in the population of Giant Pandas is a testament to the perseverance of conservationists. China may be on its way to successfully saving its most famous ambassador and in the process put the wild back into an icon.

National Geographic Magazine photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale spent three years working on a story about the slow and steady incline in the population of Giant Pandas in China.

Follow Ami on Instagram @amivitale.

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