Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

FILE – Giant panda Da Mao eats bamboo at the Toronto Zoo on Thursday, May 16, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteFILE – Giant panda Da Mao eats bamboo at the Toronto Zoo on Thursday, May 16, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
FILE – Panda Er Shun eats bamboo at the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo in Chongqing, China on February 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldFILE – Panda Er Shun eats bamboo at the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo in Chongqing, China on February 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Da Mao, an adult male panda bear, sleeps as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshDa Mao, an adult male panda bear, sleeps as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Da Mao, an adult male panda bear, looks on as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntoshDa Mao, an adult male panda bear, looks on as media photograph him at the Calgary Zoo during the opening of its giant panda habitat, Panda Passage, in Calgary, Alta., Monday, May 7, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
FILE – Five-month-old panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo, as they are exhibited to the media on Monday, March 7, 2016. The cubs were relocated to China in January 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris YoungFILE – Five-month-old panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo, as they are exhibited to the media on Monday, March 7, 2016. The cubs were relocated to China in January 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Calgary Zoo is worried that two giant pandas whose return to China has been delayed for months will run out of food.

The zoo announced in May that its two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, were scheduled to be relocated back to China due to the country’s abundant supply of bamboo. In Canada, the zoo said the panda’s main food source has seen increased barriers to transportation.

The zoo currently sources its bamboo from B.C., but said on Wednesday (Aug. 5) that supply is expected to run out in September.

However, the zoo said China has not yet approved international travel permits for the two pandas due to changes to its import laws and quarantine facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe the best and safest place for Er Shun and Da Mao to be during these challenging and unprecedented times is where bamboo is abundant and easy to access,” said Calgary Zoo president and CEO Dr. Clément Lanthier. “The continued delays in international permitting is putting the health and welfare of these two beautiful giant pandas in jeopardy.”

The two pandas initially arrive in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year deal with China. They spent the first five years at the Toronto Zoo, and then moved to Calgary in March 2018 with two cubs in tow. The cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, returned to China in January of this year.

READ MORE: Giant panda family makes its Calgary Zoo debut


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Calgary zooPandas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

The latest homeless count in the Valley found 129 in a 24-hour period. (File photo)
Latest homeless count reveals 129 in the Cowichan Valley

But local officials believe number is higher

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

An employee at Duncan’s Real Canadian Superstore has tested positive for COVID-19. (Don Bodger/Black Press)
More positive COVID-19 tests reported at Cowichan Superstore

Employees last worked on Feb. 12, 13 and 15.

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read