Panda photo gallery by Suzi Eszterhas

In 2016, the status of the giant panda was officially changed from Endangered to Vulnerable. Photographer Suzi Eszterhas journeyed to China to see the work of two breeding centres that have contributed to this extraordinary conservation effort.

Captive breeding has its challenges because many pandas are not inclined to mate in captivity and there is a short window of opportunity for successful breeding (females only have a single oestrus cycle once a year). © Suzi Eszterhas

About the photographer

Suzi Eszterhas is an acclaimed photographer with several awards to her name, including both Environmental and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Best known for documenting young animals and family life in the wild, her work has been featured in over 100 publications including National Geographic Kids, TIMEand Smithsonian.

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Having lived in an African bush camp for three years, Eszterhas has had extraordinary experiences during her time in the wilderness; she’s swum with sloths, been chased by a green mamba and has had to fend off bears and hyenas. She has captured wildlife images on all seven continents, recording intimate moments of natural beauty.

View for more of Suzi Eszterhas’ images on her website.

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To view the images as a slideshow, click on the arrows in the top right hand corner of the photos below.

A giant panda sub-adult in a tree at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. © Suzi Eszterhas
A giant panda sub-adult in a tree at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. © Suzi Eszterhas
Four cubs drink milk from bowls at Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Centre of Giant Panda. © Suzi Eszterhas
Four cubs drink milk from bowls at Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Centre of Giant Panda. © Suzi Eszterhas
There is a strong bond between a panda mother and her cub. In the wild, young are kept in a natal den for the first three months of their life, after which they are moved to a nearby dense patch of bamboo. © Suzi Eszterhas
There is a strong bond between a panda mother and her cub. In the wild, young are kept in a natal den for the first three months of their life, after which they are moved to a nearby dense patch of bamboo. © Suzi Eszterhas
A panda cub will remain with its mother for two to three years before becoming independent. © Suzi Eszterhas
A panda cub will remain with its mother for two to three years before becoming independent. © Suzi Eszterhas
Eastern cultures traditionally regard the panda as a symbol of peace and good fortune ... © Suzi Eszterhas
Eastern cultures traditionally regard the panda as a symbol of peace and good fortune … © Suzi Eszterhas
... in China the bear was historically compared to yin and yang because of its black and white patterning. © Suzi Eszterhas
… in China the bear was historically compared to yin and yang because of its black and white patterning. © Suzi Eszterhas
Fifty per cent of panda births result in twins but usually in the wild only one cub survives. © Suzi Eszterhas
Fifty per cent of panda births result in twins but usually in the wild only one cub survives. © Suzi Eszterhas
Pandas squeeze down a slide at Bifengxia. Although this behaviour may look cute, the structures serve a purpose by providing enrichment, stimulation and exercise for the growing cubs. © Suzi Eszterhas
Pandas squeeze down a slide at Bifengxia. Although this behaviour may look cute, the structures serve a purpose by providing enrichment, stimulation and exercise for the growing cubs. © Suzi Eszterhas
Keepers at Bifengxia must keep enclosures clean. After feeding time staff wipe the milk off the cubs' chins to eliminate the risk of a bacterial infection. © Suzi Eszterhas
Keepers at Bifengxia must keep enclosures clean. After feeding time staff wipe the milk off the cubs’ chins to eliminate the risk of a bacterial infection. © Suzi Eszterha
Captive breeding has its challenges because many pandas are not inclined to mate in captivity and there is a short window of opportunity for successful breeding (females only have a single oestrus cycle once a year). © Suzi Eszterhas
Captive breeding has its challenges because many pandas are not inclined to mate in captivity and there is a short window of opportunity for successful breeding (females only have a single oestrus cycle once a year). © Suzi Eszterhas