This week marks the first ever Panda Awareness Week (PAW), an event focused on the conservation efforts of Chengdu Panda Base, a Chinese research center devoted to the conservation and captive breeding of giant pandas.

Events were held internationally, including the kick-off in London, where more than 100 people dressed as pandas and took to the streets. The "pandas" did Tai Chi in Trafalgar Square, rode the city's iconic double decker buses and interacted with people on the street.


According to Chengdu, the research team, accompanied by some of their costumed friends will also be visiting schools to educate children about the plight of the panda.

Thanks to the efforts of the Chengdu Panda Base and other research and conservation programs, more than 400 pandas have been bred in captivity and some will soon be reintroduced into the wild.

Sources: Sacramento Bee, Chengdu Panda BaseTree Hugger

Image: Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr