Calgary Zoo Racing Against Time to Return Pandas to Home

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 10, 2020 12:50 pm

giant panda

File photo of a giant panda

Photo Credit: The Animal Facts

Calgary Zoo is in a race against time to return their giant pandas to China with their current bamboo supply set to run out in September.

Previously the zoo had imported bamboo from a range of sources but since the Covid-19 pandemic has begun they have had difficulty obtaining this bamboo. Currently their only reliable source is a plantation in British Colombia. It is expected that come September this supply will run out.

Each giant panda requires as much as 40kg (88lbs) of bamboo per day.

In May the zoo announced that they would return the pandas to China where they would have access to fresh bamboo. You can read our article on that announcement here – Calgary Zoo Farewells their Panda Family.


File Photo of a giant panda

Photo Credit: The Animal Facts

Unfortunately Calgary Zoo revealed this week that the permits to allow this transfer have yet to be granted. They are being held up by changes in import and quarantine laws during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calgary Zoo officials fear the worst if these permits cannot be granted soon. Calgary Zoo President & CEO Dr. Clément Lanthier. “The continued delays in international permitting is putting the health and welfare of these two beautiful giant pandas in jeopardy. We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access.”

The pandas at Calgary Zoo are known as Er Shun and Da Mao. They arrived in Calgary in March 2018 from Toronto Zoo where they had spent the last 5 years after arriving from China. During their time in Toronto they gave birth to two cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue who returned to China in January this year after moving to Calgary with their parents. Their stay in Calgary was due to last till 2023 but has been cut short by the pandemic.

While they await permits the Calgary Zoo continue to provide exceptional care and report the pandas are in good health.

Learn more about the giant panda Giant Panda Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Calgary Zoo on their website – Calgary Zoo

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