Guest blog by Clare Kendall, freelance journalist and photographer
I knew that baby pandas would be cute but nothing prepared me (a hardened journalist) for just how impossibly, unbearably, achingly cute they would be in the flesh (or rather fluff).
It’s not hard to see why, having spent three days photographing them at the Chengdu Panda breeding centre in China (I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it), the Chinese have chosen to assure their future at a cost of very many millions whilst the Chinese freshwater dolphin (once described by Chris Packham as having the all the good looks of a used bar of soap) has slipped out of existence without a flutter of concern.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has a total of 70 bears drawing 800,000 tourists per year …
…so you can’t afford to be too bashful.