Panda Programme for Sky 3D

Sky LogoSky 3D is to air a ground-breaking natural history film which will capture the highly endangered giant pandas living in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in the People’s Republic of China for the first time in 3D.

Produced for Sky 3D by Oxford Scientific Films, Pandas 3D is a co-production with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda.

With unrivalled access to the Wolong National Nature Reserve, the documentary will join the giant pandas at a critical time in the species’ history. Following decades of captive breeding, the target number of 300 giant pandas has now been reached and the experts at the Reserve face the challenge of restoring viable breeding populations of the species to the wild.

While previous attempts to reinstate giant pandas into the wild have failed, Zhang Hemin, Director of the Research Centre for the Wild Panda, believes ‘wild training’ may be the solution. Selected mother pandas will be allowed to give birth and raise their cubs naturally in remote mountain enclosure and human contact will be extremely limited; so much so that the scientists working on the restoration project must don panda suits in disguise.

John Cassy, Director of 3D, Sky commented: “Giant Pandas have an enduring appeal – we have seen time and time again how fascinated people are about their lives and habits. Now, for the first time in 3D, we will see Pandas in their natural habit.”

Alongside the natural breeding programme the captive breeding programme continues a pace. At Bifengxia we see newborn twins being alternately bottled fed in incubators and placed back in the embrace of their mother (panda mothers can’t cope with two at a time). We see young pandas play on swings and slides at the panda crèche and others taken on a day trip to thrill and inform local school children. And who said pandas aren’t good at breeding? Well, when they’re encouraged to get in the mood with panda sexercise and panda porn videos there’s no stopping them!

Caroline Hawkins, Creative Director of Oxford Scientific Films, commented: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity. The Giant Panda is one of the most adored species on the planet but it is also one of the most misunderstood; with some suggesting that it is not worth saving from extinction. This film gives us the opportunity to show the advances the Chinese have made in understanding panda reproduction and the great progress they are making towards restoring populations in the wild. The fact that we are able to get unrestricted access to pandas in China and in 3D makes this film an exciting first.”

Oxford Scientific Films is a BAFTA and Emmy-award-winning producer of contemporary factual, natural history, science and history. We are known for outstanding and innovative programmes that rate. We have a passion for storytelling and we are proud of the company’s heritage as a technological pioneer.

Clare Birks, Executive Producer for Oxford Scientific Films, commented: “We are delighted to have Sky’s backing for a second 3D natural history film. It’s very exciting to be working in China for the first time and our Chinese partners couldn’t have been more supportive.”

[Reported by Ian Westhead]