An estimated 1,600 giant pandas are left in the wild, mainly found in reserves in remote areas of southwest China. The endangered and solitary species are "often very difficult to see in the wild," noted a World Wildlife Fund spokesperson to Yahoo News in an email. That meant putting up a secret panda cam. These pictures of the black-and-white bears – along with other species -- were taken by the WWF in partnership with local forest authorities as part of a long-term monitoring project.
By using cameras equipped with infrared triggers, no humans were needed. This "conservation by cameras" automatically takes pictures of animals in the wild and helps scientists collect data on the rare species. "These photos offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of giant pandas, as well as other animals, which are difficult to see in the wild," said Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of the WWF's species program, in a statement to Yahoo News.
"They demonstrate that by saving the iconic giant panda, we secure a vibrant future for other incredible wildlife, wild places and people," Klenzendorf added. "It's the best kind of win-win proposition." —Claudine Zap and Vera H-C Chan