1936, China. Ruth Harkness has come to settle the affairs of her husband, Bill, who died while observing the rare and unstudied panda bear. His journal describes the panda as shy and docile, while great white hunter Dak Johnson describes them as ferocious beasts. This intrigues her, and she sets off to retrace Bill's steps and save the pandas from Johnson. She encounters many obstacles, both natural and created by Johnson, and sees many scenic vistas before encountering the pandas.