News ID: 269067
Published: 1121 GMT May 15, 2020

Canada's Calgary zoo to return two giant pandas after bamboo supply disruption

Canada's Calgary zoo to return two giant pandas after bamboo supply disruption
JEFF MCINTOSH/AP

The Calgary zoo will be returning two giant pandas on loan from China because a scarcity of flights due to Covid-19 has caused problems with getting enough bamboo to feed them.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Calgary in 2018 after spending five years at the Toronto zoo and were to remain in the Alberta city until 2023, according to theguardian.com.

The zoo’s president, Clément Lanthier, said this week the facility spent months trying to overcome transportation barriers in acquiring fresh bamboo and decided it was best for the animals to be in China, where their main food source is abundant.

“It’s about the animals. At the end of the day, we cannot pretend that we care for animals if we don’t take those tough decisions”, Lanthier said. “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.”

Lanthier said the zoo had contingency plans for a steady supply of fresh bamboo, but limits on flights from China was the first problem. Transporting more from California added even more frustrations.

   
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