Why Scientists Wear Animal Costumes—It's Not Just for Halloween
From whooping cranes to pandas, people masquerade as animals to get closer to their research subjects.
From giant pandas to whooping cranes to even crocodiles, many scientists disguise themselves as animals to collect valuable data that they wouldn't be able to get, well, in their human skins.
Sometimes, their costume goes beyond just putting on clothes. Caregivers at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Pandaat the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, for instance, dress in furry giant panda costumes—and then sprinkle themselves with panda poop and pee.
"That's to mask the human smell," said Andrea Muller of Pandas International, a Colorado-based organization that supports the Chinese panda center.