Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

FILE – Giant panda Da Mao eats bamboo at the Toronto Zoo on Thursday, May 16, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
FILE – Panda Er Shun eats bamboo at the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo in Chongqing, China on February 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Da Mao, an adult male panda bear, sleeps as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Da Mao, an adult male panda bear, looks on as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
FILE – Five-month-old panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo, as they are exhibited to the media on Monday, March 7, 2016. The cubs were relocated to China in January 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Calgary Zoo is worried that two giant pandas whose return to China has been delayed for months will run out of food.

The zoo announced in May that its two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, were scheduled to be relocated back to China due to the country’s abundant supply of bamboo. In Canada, the zoo said the panda’s main food source has seen increased barriers to transportation.

The zoo currently sources its bamboo from B.C., but said on Wednesday (Aug. 5) that supply is expected to run out in September.

However, the zoo said China has not yet approved international travel permits for the two pandas due to changes to its import laws and quarantine facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 and CEO Dr. Clément Lanthier. “The continued delays in international permitting is putting the health and welfare of these two beautiful giant pandas in jeopardy.”

The two pandas initially arrive in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year deal with China. They spent the first five years at the Toronto Zoo, and then moved to Calgary in March 2018 with two cubs in tow. The cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, returned to China in January of this year.

READ MORE: Giant panda family makes its Calgary Zoo debut


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Calgary zooPandas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

Most Read