Two giant pandas return from Canada, to quarantine in Chongqing

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/30 17:23:40

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding extends its warm welcome to two giant pandas Er Shun, a female, and Da Mao, a male. They arrived in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province early in the morning on Sunday.  

Er Shun and Da Mao Photo: Courtesy of the Calgary Zoo

Next quarantine will be conducted in Chongqing according to relevant regulations, said the post in the base's official WeChat account on Sunday. 

Chen Lihan, an employee of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding told the Global Times on Monday that this is the first case for foreign partners sending pandas back due to the difficulty in sourcing fresh bamboo from local providers. 

Through the joint efforts of many parties, the two giant pandas Da Mao and Ershun from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Chongqing Zoo arrived in Chengdu by special plane on the early morning of November 29, Beijing time, and were sent to the base. Chongqing conducts quarantine in accordance with the relevant regulations.

According to the China-Canada Panda Conservation and Research Cooperation Agreement, two giant pandas flew to Canada in March 2013 to start the two countries' giant panda conservation research cooperation, and have made their homes in Toronto Zoo and Calgary Zoo successively. 

During this period, the giant panda Er Shun gave birth to a pair of twin cubs in October 2015, named Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, who returned to China in January according to the agreement. 

In May, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to guarantee the long-term supply of bamboo - the staple food of pandas. After friendly negotiations between China and Canada, both sides decided to terminate cooperation early.

Giant pandas have brought joy to the people of China and Canada and enhanced the friendship between the two peoples. Since the start of the China-Canada Panda Cooperative Research Project, the technical cooperation institutions of both countries have carried out fruitful cooperation in the protection and breeding of giant pandas, scientific research, and public education, the post said. 

China thanks Canada and all sectors of society for their long-term care and support for China's panda protection. It is hoped that China and Canada will continue to maintain exchanges and cooperation in the field of endangered wildlife protection and make due contributions to the cause of global biodiversity conservation, it noted. 

In late September, the Calgary Zoo said it would have a flight confirmed to get the pandas to China. 

In its social media accounts, the Calgary Zoo has posted updates on these two pandas' journey home since Friday. 

"Each giant panda will consume approximately 100kg (200lbs) of bamboo during their flights home to China, along with biscuits and fruit [apples and pears]," the zoo's Twitter post said. 

Besides, the zoo is also sending two of their Animal Care team members to China. Both will spend two weeks quarantining in China upon arrival and another two weeks quarantine in Canada once they return. 

The zoo also created two hashtags for this transfer: #GetThePandasHome and #PandaExpress. 

Twitter screenshot

"It was a ton of fun having you two (you four!) for the time we had with you in #yyc #Canada! ByeBye Panda facePanda face Stay Safe & Stay Healthy! #GetThePandasHome", said @Kempton, a Candian netizen. 

Chinese netizens are really happy for their return, saying quite a relief now as they don't have to worry about their food supplies. 

Newspaper headline: Welcome home


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