CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Two of Calgary’s favourite giant pandas are still waiting to get home.
Now, the zoo said the pandas still don’t have the travel permits to make the journey because of changes to import laws and quarantine due to COVID-19 that has restricted international travel.
Giant Panda Update: In May we announced we'd be relocating Er Shun & Da Mao, back to China where bamboo is local and abundant. To date, China has not approved international permits. The only reliable bamboo source is expected to run out in Sept. Read on: https://t.co/4sApAdo99k pic.twitter.com/bKnrjiAvkH
— Calgary Zoo (@calgaryzoo) August 5, 2020
“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,” said 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.”
Zoo officials said the only reliable source of bamboo they have has been coming from B.C. and is expected to run out in September.
“The team at the Calgary Zoo have built a loving and caring relationship with the two giant pandas and feels their safety and well-being is in jeopardy. If there is any chance that the Zoo cannot bring bamboo to the pandas, the Zoo wants to bring the pandas to the bamboo,” the zoo said in a release.
Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China.
After spending five years at the Toronto Zoo, the two adult giant pandas arrived at the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue.
The cubs returned to China in January 2020.