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Time to play Spot the Panda again! (But now for a good cause)

As soon as you see the panda in the latest optical illusion to obsess the Web, it may vanish again ? a message about animal conservation.
/ Source: TODAY

Though many of us spent an inordinate amount of time looking for a cartoon panda amid a sea of snowmen last December, one visual artist decided to send us on another panda quest — this time for a good cause.

Finland-based artist Ilja Klemencov created an illusion which initially appears to be a black-and-white zigzag pattern. But if you look at it from the side, or while scrolling down a page, a giant panda appears ... and then just as quickly vanishes.

On the lower right-hand side of the artwork are printed the words "They can disappear."

MORE: Find the panda among the snowmen: See the puzzle tantalizing the Internet

The image was posted on Imgr and Reddit, and has quickly gone viral; apparently there are plenty of people who can't see the panda at all. But that somewhat misses the point: The artwork is meant to raise awareness of the endangered status of the giant panda species.

Outside of captivity, fewer than 2,000 giant pandas exist.

Bei Bei the panda
Bei Bei is one of several giant pandas in zoos around the world; he lives at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP - Getty Images

The panda that is ultimately revealed is from the logo of the World Wide Fund for Nature, which uses the panda as an emblem for all endangered species.

MORE: Panda overload! 14 cute babies cuddle in a crib

So if you're able to spot the panda in the illusion, congratulations! But the real message is: Hopefully we'll all be able to spot real, live pandas for many years to come.

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.