ONLY 150 DAYS LEFT TO SEE THE GIANT PANDAS
Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo
AT THE TORONTO ZOO!
TORONTO, ON, Thursday, October 19, 2017 – Everyone knows it is official when a countdown is involved! This morning the Toronto Zoo unveiled a Giant Panda Farewell Clock representing that there are ONLY 150 DAYS LEFT to see giant pandas at the Toronto Zoo before they depart for Calgary in March 2018. The pandas arrive in Calgary in mid-March and then will enter a mandatory quarantine period. Their new habitat, Panda Passage, will open to the public in Calgary in early May 2018.
The Zoo is encouraging visitors to come and say their farewell to giant pandas Da Mao, Er Shun, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue over the next few months, and while you are here why not commemorate your visit with a photo with the countdown clock.
Don’t forget to post your memorable giant panda moment using 🐼 #TOPandaFarewell.
Giant Pandas at the Toronto Zoo March 2013 to March 2018
In March 2013, Er Shun and Da Mao arrived at the Toronto Zoo as part of a Global Giant Panda Conservation Breeding Program. On the morning of October 13, 2015, the Toronto Zoo announced that Er Shun had given birth to the first giant panda cubs born in Canada.
Toronto Zoo Keepers have had the unique opportunity to experience the growth and development of these rare twin cubs over the past two years, and there have been challenges balanced with joyous moments that have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of the dedicated and professional staff having the pleasure to work with the giant pandas. Both cubs continue to grow each day, with Jia Panpan weighing 52kg and Jia Yueyue weighing 49kg. The giant panda cubs still nurse from Er Shun, but the majority of their diet is now made up of bamboo. Jia Panpan can be described as an outgoing cub, who loves to play and instigate wrestling matches with both Er Shun and his sister. Jia Yueyue is a little more independent, although she loves to participate and play, she will often quietly remove herself from the commotion and watch the fun while relaxing at a distance.
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.
The Toronto Zoo is honoured to be part of this ongoing success story for the giant pandas, and will continue tirelessly supporting and leading the many other species survival programs to maintain healthy and prolific populations within the animal kingdom for generations to come.
Don’t forget to come out to see the Giant Pandas before they leave for Calgary in March 2018!