Two Giant Panda’s were FedExed to Toronto where they’ll live at the Toronto Zoo for five years before moving to Calgary Zoo for another five years. Officials, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper who was on-hand to welcome them personally, are hoping the two will create the first Canadian Giant Panda on their extended stay.
Er Shun and Da Mao, are on loan from Chengdu, China and arrived in a personalized plane amidst political controversy about Harper’s motives for making the panda’s a priority. Some called it a photo op, others consider it an important step to improving Canada-China relations.
Gordon Houlden, the director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta and a former diplomat posted in China, told HuffPost that, since there are barely more than 200 pandas living in captivity, the loan suggests Canada has been “favoured.”