What better way to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Horse than a baby panda playing on a toy rocking horse?
This cutie is from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Sichuan, China. Chengdu Panda Base is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals.
The giant panda is endangered, and threatened by continued habitat loss and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity.
Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987. It started with six giant pandas that were rescued from the wild. By 2008, it had 124 panda births, and the captive panda population has grown to 83.
It has partnered with many organizations in improving ways to conserve giant pandas. This includes several in the US and in Britain.