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'Pandamania' invades metro system and phone messaging app stickers

TAIPEI--Fans of the Taipei Zoo's new giant panda cub Yuan Zai will be surrounded by even more images of the fuzzy cub when they take the capital's metro system or use a messaging app.

The Taipei mass rapid transit system's Wenhu Line launched a panda-themed train Monday that provides only 10 services per day.

In addition to its exterior, the seats and windows are also dotted with the popular animal. “Passengers can enjoy the company of pandas and take pictures with them when they take the train,” the Taipei Tourism Bureau said.

To promote conservation, the train also features other endangered animals such as the Formosan black bear, the Formosan sika deer and pangolins.

Meanwhile, popular messaging service app WeChat also released virtual stickers users can post in their messages after receiving approval from the Taipei city government.

A total of 12 free stickers featuring Yuan Zai are now available in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Yuan Zai has created a big sensation in Taiwan since her birth in early July, with hundreds of fans lining up to visit her every day since she first went on display Jan. 6.

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Miss Yang, center, and her friend take pictures beside a seat bearing a Yuan Zai sticker on a train of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Wenhu Line, yesterday. Yuan Zai, the first Taiwan-born giant panda, has created a big sensation in Taiwan following her birth in early July.

(CNA)

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