The Baby Panda Inside the Extraordinary Breeding Factory

With an estimated 1,800 giant pandas still in their natural habitat — the bamboo-covered mountains of Western China — and fewer than 300 in zoos and preserves, they remain on the critically-endangered list. For long-standing cultural reasons, however (and because they can rent pandas to foreign zoos for up to £1million a year), the Communist authorities are determined to preserve their prized natural symbol.

The baby, Jiao Qing, is the first first surviving cub of the base's birthing season, which lasts until September.