Lifestyle & Belief

1,600 papier-mâché pandas prepare to take on Hong Kong



Antony Lau

Do you have trouble picturing what 1,600 pandas look like against the skyline of Hong Kong?

These cute, cuddly guys are a joy to behold, no doubt. But make sure you get a good look because you may never get another.

And that's the whole point.

In 2008, Serge Orru, who heads the French section of the World Wildlife Fund, came up with the idea to put 1,600 pandas — the number still alive in the wild — on display at various landmarks around the world.

The idea was to raise awareness for conservation efforts, which have all but proven futile for the bears.

Pierre Comizzoli, a reproductive physiologist at the National Zoo in Washington, says pandas are important because they’re an umbrella species. Saving them will help keep many other animals alive, too. 

Also they're adorable.

Since 2008, the papier-mâché pandas designed by French artist Paulo Grangeon have visited more than 100 cities in 20 countries. This June, they make their way to Hong Kong.

Here they are on their recent tour of Taipei: