French artist Paulo Grangeon is putting an adorable spin on a sad reality: the slow march to extinction of a beloved animal.
His long-running art exhibition, Pandas on Tour, displays 1,600 smiling papier-mâché pandas—roughly the number of the adored black-and-white bears left in the world—in an attempt to highlight the need to protect the endangered species.
Launched in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund in 2008, Grangeon’s panda display has traveled to more than 20 countries and appeared in front of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower.
For their current stop in Taiwan, the pandas will be joined by 200 Formosan black bears (also made of papier-mâché) and one green tree frog in the middle of them all.
Because of poaching, panda numbers started shrinking in the 1960s. But thanks to stringent regulations and better awareness, the population decline has since slowed. Today, the greatest threat to wild pandas remains human encroachment on their natural habitat in China.