French artist Paulo Grangeon, together with the World Wildlife Fund, decided to create 1,600 little paper-mache pandas in Taiwan and take them on a tour through 10 major Asian cities and around the world.
The number of pandas was not chosen at random – each one represents one of only 1,600 (or even less) pandas that are left in the wild. So while these pandas might look like a crowd when assembled in a city square, it seems like there are way too few of them when you realize that what you see represents the entire wild panda population.
The pandas visited scenic European cities like Paris and Rome before coming home to Taiwan for a 10-city tour through Asia.
Efforts to revive the panda population have been met with difficulty due to their dwindling natural habitat and due to the difficulty of getting pandas to mate in captivity. Even wild pandas have difficulty mating, as they have only a very short window of time (usually 2-3 days) once a year during which the female can be fertilized.