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Calgary zoo returns pandas to China, citing coronavirus

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Due to a shortage of fresh bamboo due to travel and supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis, the Calgary Zoo in Canada will relocate two pandas to China where the perennial perennial is abundant.

The pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, arrived in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement with China. A limited number of flights between China and Canada and other transportation barriers have caused delays in the bamboo, which the pandas feed on daily.

The zoo says it spent months trying to overcome obstacles to acquire an adequate supply of bamboo, but the flight limits turned out to be too great.

“We believe that the safest and most secure place for Er Shun and Da Mao in these difficult and unprecedented times is one where bamboo is plentiful and easy to access,” said the president and CEO. from the Calgary Zoo, Dr. Clément Lanthier.

This 2018 file photo shows Da Mao, an adult panda bear, watching him as the media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of his giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The zoo has decided to return two adult giant pandas to China because the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted essential deliveries of fresh bamboo. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press via AP)

This 2018 file photo shows Da Mao, an adult panda bear, watching him as the media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of his giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The zoo has decided to return two adult giant pandas to China because the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted essential deliveries of fresh bamboo. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press via AP)

Adult pandas generally consume an average daily of 88 pounds of bamboo, which represents 99% of the animal’s nutritional needs, the zoo said in a statement.

The zoo said it had worked with other bamboo suppliers to feed the pandas, but delivery times were slow, shipments misdirected, poor quality of the product the pandas refused to eat, and a limited supply. hindered their efforts.

“I am continually amazed at the ingenuity and dedication of our team,” said Lanthier. “Unfortunately, they are fighting against much larger forces than the Calgary Zoo. Even the Canadian government has had to fly empty planes out of China. “

Some planes sent from Canada to China to pick up essential personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of the federal government were returned empty after the two planes were forced to wait on the ground for a long time.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in April that “severe restrictions” on how long an aircraft was allowed to wait on the ground in China forced aircraft to take off empty.

The two pandas first lived at the Toronto Zoo when they arrived in Canada before being transferred to Calgary in 2018 with the cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue. It was not clear whether the cubs would also return to China.

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