Photojournalist Ami Vitale spent weeks in China with pandas on assignment for National Geographic

August 04, 2016 09:05 AM

Warning: Major job envy ahead.

As an international photojournalist, Ami Vitale has captured many stunning, strange and distant places on our Earth, but her latest job is all about the cute.

On assignment for National Geographic, Vitale spent weeks visiting three bases overseen by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda and getting to know its residents.

The result is a series of transfixingly adorably photos for the article “Pandas Get to Know Their Wild Side” in the August issue of National Geographic, and an Instagram account full of outtakes featuring her sweet, furry subjects at all ages.

Along with having front row access to the pandas at the bases, Vitale is one of the first foreign journalists to witness a panda being released into the wild.

Another perk of the job was up close and personal time with the bumper crop of baby pandas born at the bases each year, including a chance to hold the black and white bundles.

It’s an honor given to very few – scientists, presidents, millionaires – and it’s one most of us aren’t likely to receive, but thanks to Vitale’s Instagram, which has over 513,000 followers and breathtaking photos from around the world, we can experience the panda PDA afterglow.

And that still feels pretty darn good.

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