Nat Geo Wild is to give audiences a glimpse into the challenges of breeding the iconic, critically endangered giant panda in one-hour special Giant Pandas, which will have its U.S. premiere in August and a global debut in September.
The special – part of the network’s investment in blue chip, natural history programming for its Destination Wild strand – will follow the creatures as they are bred in captivity in China’s Bi Feng Xia Panda Center and ultimately released into the wild.
The show will focus on the panda Shui Xiu, and the task of finding her a mate, as well as Tao Tao, who must prove that he is ready to be released into the wild after training.
“This film takes us inside the journey to breed pandas in captivity with the hope of releasing them into the wild to help this species survive,” said Geoff Daniels, exec VP and GM of Nat Geo Wild, in a statement. “Panda population numbers have drastically decreased, making breeding programs around the world crucial to the future of this species.”
Giant Pandas is produced by Oxford Scientific Films. Jeremy Bradshaw and Clare Birks served as executive producers, and Caroline Hawkins is creative director.