2016 was considered by many as a “down year” as many strange, unexpected and downright depressing things happened all throughout.
Yet, despite how bad 2016 may have been in the eyes of many, some pretty awesome moments still happened last year, and the following photos, courtesy of National Geographic, are proof of that.
Ye Ye The Giant Panda
This photo was originally published in “Pandas Get to Know Their Wild Side,” in August 2016.
The subject of the photo is Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, as she lounges about inside a wild enclosure at a conservation center in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve.
The Daily Struggle
This photo was originally published in “The Yellowstone We Don’t See: A Struggle of Life and Death,” in May 2016.
Unbeknownst to most people, the animals within the Yellowstone National Park struggle every day just to survive. These three-work-old calves of the Cody elk herd, for example, struggle to follow their mothers up a 4,600-foot-slope during the Cody elk’s first migration to their summer range in southeastern Yellowstone.
A Child’s Heart
This photo was originally published in “Travel 3,000 Miles Through China’s Wondrous Wild West,” in July 2016.
The photo above shows a child drawing a heart in the desert sand as the train they’re riding draws closer to their last stop at Kashgar station.