Canada zoo is sending two pandas back to China because it can't get enough bamboo to feed them

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 13, 2020, 09.35 PM(IST)

China's panda diplomacy Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China has for years sent giant pandas abroad as a sign of friendship and cooperation between Beijing and other countries as part of a campaign known as "panda diplomacy." 

The Calgary Zoo in Canada has planned to send two giant pandas back to China due to a shortage of bamboo. A panda's diet consists almost entirely of fresh bamboo and the animals typically eat about 40 kilograms of it each day.

China has for years sent giant pandas abroad as a sign of friendship and cooperation between Beijing and other countries as part of a campaign known as "panda diplomacy." 

To this end, the zoo usually flies in bamboo from China to feed the animals, but the coronavirus-induced lockdown had disrupted flights and caused delays in supplies.

The duo, named Er Shun and Da Mao, were supposed to stay in Canada until 2023 as part of a 10-year agreement with China, but the zoo decided to send them back early out of concern that delays could worsen if there's a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The zoo said it tried to find new bamboo suppliers to keep the pandas fed, but encountered several logistical issues. They also worry that these new supply lines could be disrupted at a moment's notice, leaving the pandas completely without food.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Canada in 2014 and spent five years at the Toronto Zoo before moving to Calgary in March 2018 with cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, the Calgary Zoo said. Those cubs have been moved to China as well, CNN media partner CBC reported.

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