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The public snapping pictures with the papier mache panda models. Pic by Danial Saad

GEORGE TOWN: Panda fever swept Penang when miniature paper animals made their debut, here, on Christmas Eve.

Some 300 pandas were displayed on Lebuh Lintang, a lane outside Komtar.

Thousands of people packed the venue to snap pictures of cuddly papier mache models which were littered on the lane.

A sea of people comprising families and friends also gathered at the open space to take in the curious scene.

The pandas also spread cheer to those celebrating Christmas in the city.

Penang was the second stopover for the pandas in a global tour in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur.

The adorable animals first made a debut in Malaysia in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Dataran Merdeka.

The items were created by French artist and sculptor Paulo Grangeon who has been affectionately known as “Father of 1,600 pandas”.

The adorable pandas had previously toured Taiwan and Hong Kong in the first and second leg of its Asian tour before stopping here.

The theme of the campaign was “Conservation and Sustainability of the Pandas”.

An estimated 1,600 pandas are found in the world, either in natural habitats or sanctuaries.

The models will be in Malaysia until January next year to create awareness of panda extinction.

The organiser of the Penang leg of the panda display was ICT Digital [email protected] with XOX Mobile as its main sponsor.

The event was part of its digital fair as well as Christmas countdown programme.

The pandas are on display daily from 2pm until 9pm. By Phuah Ken Lin

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