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.

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