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In 1936, Ruth Harkness - a dressmaker from New York -- set off to China in search of the rare, elusive Giant Panda. Her goal? Bring one back alive to share the wonder of China's wildlife with the western world. She became the first explorer to do so, and so set in motion a public fascination with these creatures that continues 80 years later.

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Additional images c/o Ruth Harkness, "The Lady and the Panda," 1938, and the Chicago Zoological Society.

Special thanks to Field staff Gretchen Rings, and Sarah Ebel for their assistance in this video! Also thanks to the Field Museum gift shop staff for letting us borrow the panda for our radio interview.
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Producer, Writer, Creator, Host:
Emily Graslie

Director, Camera, Sound:
Brandon Brungard

Sheheryar Ahsan

This episode is supported by and filmed on location at:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL

And made possible with help from the Harris Family Foundation.
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