Imagine if your neighborhood was taken over by an “army” of bears.
No, not real bears — cuddly, soft teddy bears to be exact.
Residents of one neighborhood in Paris, Les Gobelins, have noticed the growing number of giant teddy bears that have been popping up at different locations, and the locals absolutely love the new visitors, The Local reported.
Don’t worry, the bears are not suddenly gaining sentience and walking around when nobody’s looking. In fact, the bears are part of a project by a local bookshop owner named Phillipe, in an effort to bring the community together in a fun, unexpected way, according to Le Parisien.
“I’ve been working here for 25 years. There were people I had never spoken to. Now they call me Philippe,” the bookseller told Le Parisien, as translated by The Local.
There are 50 teddy bears all in all, which Philippe has been putting in different places around the neighborhood since late October. Another shop owner, a pharmacist named Emmanuel, told Le Parisien that no one is sure where Phillipe gets the bears, but he’s also lending them out to people in the area.
The bears are continually appearing in many different spots for residents to stumble on. They “eat” in huge groups in front of restaurants and hotels, “climb” lamp posts or just greet people on street corners.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo even enjoys the new, furry addition to Les Gobelins.
The bears have now become so popular that fans of the fuzzy creatures can keep up with them and their shenanigans on the bears’ official Facebook page.
According to The Local, the bookshop owner plans to keep the bears moving around the community until the La Gallette des Rois celebration, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, on Jan. 6.
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