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Giant Panda Experience

Current experience hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm last day!
*This time may change based on line capacity.



Since Da Mao and Er Shun’s exciting arrival in March 2013 as part of a global giant panda conservation breeding program, and with the successful birth of the first giant panda cubs born in Canada, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue in 2015, millions of visitors have come to see one of nature’s most incredible and much-loved species.

The ten-year loan of the giant pandas to Canada from China is a partnership between China, Toronto and Calgary. The four pandas will end their five years at the Toronto this coming March and will be moving to the Calgary Zoo where they will stay until 2023.

The past five years have seen success within the Global Giant Panda Conservation Breeding Program. A true indication of this collective success, the giant panda was downgraded in 2016 from “endangered” to “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This positive shift remains a primary goal of all species protection plans, and a significant focus of efforts and educational messaging by accredited and responsible zoological organizations globally.

Panda mascot standing beside panda farewell clock at the Toronto Zoo

Be sure to snap a photo with our panda farewell clock to commemorate your visit with our giant panda family before the Giant Panda Experience closes on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 6pm.

Giant Panda Experience:

Learn more about giant pandas in this keeper talk presented by Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived from China in March 2013 and are now very settled into their new home in our Eurasia Wilds. This pair was chosen as a good genetic match for breeding. Black and white in markings, and about the size of an American black bear, giant pandas have become a Zoo visitor favourite. They spend their days eating a lot of bamboo, and both have become quite fond of the numerous enrichment items their keepers create and offer them daily to simulate the activities they would encounter in a wild habitat. Both pandas have indoor and outdoor holding areas where you can see them, and will be calling the Toronto Zoo home until spring 2018.

Giant Panda Interpretive Centre:

Before you get up close to our adorable new giant panda pair, you will have the chance to take in the new, state-of-the-art Panda Interpretive Centre. This climate controlled centre features many interpretive and interactive elements for visitors to enjoy year round. Interpretive themes will include Eating Bamboo, Threats to Giant Pandas, and Saving Giant Pandas. After the Panda Interpretive Centre visitors will have a chance to see Da Mao and Er Shun in either their outdoor or indoor habitats.


February 11, 2012 in Chongqing China.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper witnessing Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna and Calgary Zoo President and CEO Clement Lanthier, along with Mme Hu, VP, Secretary-General of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, signing the official Giant Panda Cooperation Agreement confirming the arrival of Er Shun and Da Mao to Canada.

As part of a long-term conservation partnership agreement between China and Canada, China will loan two giant pandas to two Canadian Zoos (Toronto and Calgary) for a ten year period. The good news is that Toronto Zoo will be home to the breeding pair for a minimum of five years from 2013 to 2018. The pandas will then relocate to the Calgary Zoo sometime in 2018.

First Panda Cubs in Canada!

On October 13, 2015 the Toronto Zoo welcomed the first giant panda cubs born in Canada! Learn more about them here.

Giant Panda Cub Naming Ceremony:

March 7, 2016 at Toronto Zoo
Front row: Raymond Cho, Chair, Toronto Zoo Board of Management, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory, Xue Bing, Consul General from China in Toronto. Second row: John Tracogna, Toronto Zoo CEO and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Third row: Ambassador Luo Zhaohui.

On March 7, 2016 the Zoo held a special naming ceremony for our cubs where VIP's, special guests and media joined us in revealing the names of our giant panda cubs as Jia Panpan (Canadian hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian joy). More event photos here.