Photographer Ami Vitale proposed this unique panda rewilding story to National Geographic after watching the first captive born female panda being released into the wild. She recognized that in a region where bad environmental news is common, the Giant Panda proved to be a glimmer of hope for the future. The panda was taken off the endangered species list one month after publishing the story.
Ami Vitale's journey as a photographer and filmmaker has taken her to more than 80 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence, but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every important international publication including National Geographic, Newsweek, Time, New Yorker, Geo, Le Figaro, and Smithsonian, among many others. These images have been exhibited around the world in museums, galleries and are part of numerous private collections. She has garnered prestigious awards including multiple prizes from World Press Photos, POYi, Lucie Awards, NPPAâ€™s Magazine Photographer of the Year and the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting. She has been working most recently with Ripple Effect Images, an organization of well-known scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers with a mission of creating powerful and persuasive films and stories stories illustrating the very specific problems women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. 'Confronting climate change, one woman at a time'. In 2010, Ami was a Senior Producer for Multimedia, at the Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami School of Communication where she got her Masters and made a film on women's pregnancy and infant mortality in Sierra Leone and a feature film about migration and climate change in Bangladesh. Now based in Montana, Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and is writing a book about the stories behind her images.