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Henry Nicholls

The Way of the Panda

The giant panda is an iconic animal, but a century and a half ago it was barely known - bordering on a mythical creature. In The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China's Political Animal Henry Nicholls tells its story.

After the giant panda became known in the west there was considerable interest in such a novel animal. At first, of course, hunters wanted to shoot one and display the skin, but we hear about how attitudes gradually changed, as zoos saw the great benefits of having live animals. In particular the popularity of baby pandas meant that there were frequent attempts to breed pandas in captivity, with little success at first, but more recently sufficiently well to maintain a sustainable captive population. There are still problems ahead though - the difficulty of finding pandas in the wild makes it hard to know how many are left. One panda which was reintroduced into the wild was found dead a few days later - not encouraging.

There's the question of whether the giant panda should be classified a bear - something which has generated a lot of arguments. Nicholls also tells of the politics of pandas - the Chinese government soon realised the diplomatic potential of giving pandas to foreign zoos. In conclusion, it's an informative book about a unique animal, and I would recommend it to as an entertaining read for anyone.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 336 pages  
ISBN: 1846683688
Salesrank: 7306283
Weight:1.2 lbs
Published: 2010 Profile Books Ltd
Marketplace::Used from $3.15
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 336 pages  
ISBN: 1846683688
Salesrank: 693241
Weight:1.2 lbs
Published: 2010 Profile Books
Marketplace:New from £8.20:Used from £0.48
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 336 pages  
ISBN: 1846683688
Salesrank: 3320160
Weight:1.2 lbs
Published: 2010 Profile Books Ltd
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 89.71:Used from CDN$ 17.63
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Product Description
In a most original book, science writer Henry Nicholls uses the rich and curious story of the panda from its 'discovery' 150 years ago in the highlands of China to its present international status as endearing icon of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF - fifty years old in 2011) and shy darling of the world's zoos to do several things - to chart the emergence of modern China onto the global stage; to examine our changing attitude to the natural world; and to offer a compelling history of the conservation movement.