Free London taxis help to promote panda plight

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London cabbies are giving free rides during the Olympics in taxis painted with pictures of pandas – to help save the endangered species.

The 50 “panda taxis” boast black and white stripes and cartoon images of the giant panda as part of a conservation campaign backed by Edinburgh Zoo.

A total of 1600 free trips will be on offer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the cost of the fares being picked up by the Chinese city of Chengdu.

The initiative is designed to raise awareness of the fact that only around 1600 of the animals remain in the wild.

Edinburgh Zoo’s Christina Pouso said: “People around the world will come to London and many of them will see and take the panda cab. I hope that more people will become ‘partners’ of pandas.”