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The Calgary Zoo is shipping two giant pandas back to China years ahead of schedule due to difficulty obtaining bamboo amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zoo staff have struggled to import enough bamboo to feed giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao — who are on loan to Canada from China until 2023 — due to flights being disrupted by the pandemic.


The zoo said it expects the supply ofthe panda’s main food could be further disrupted by transportation struggles onvery short notice…



The challenges have resulted in substandardbamboo and smaller quantities already, Lanthier said.

“The pandas are eating almost exclusively bamboo. I need fresh bamboobeing delivered twice a week.”


Fresh bamboo makes up nearly the entirediet of a panda. An adult panda can eat roughly 40 kilograms a day.


At times, the pandas refused to eat bamboofrom new sources or bamboo that’s aged in transit.



Lanthier said his team tried to findalternate bamboo suppliers. They encountered missed flights, bamboo sent to thewrong cities, bamboo left sitting in warehouses or at an airport, and truckingissues.


我们的团队和熊猫们都承受了很大压力,你能想象几天没有竹子吃的情况吗?”This is too much stress on my team and on the pandas. Can youimagine not having bamboo for a few days?” zoo president and CEO ClémentLanthier told CBC News Tuesday.

我们已经竭尽全力了,这对熊猫的福利来说风险太大。”We have exhausted all of our capacity, and it’s too much of arisk for the welfare of the panda,” Lanthier said.


The zoo started the permit process to movethe pandas a few weeks ago, Lanthier said, in hopes of having thoseapproved this week.

……he would like to work with both governments to expedite the process.



The giant pandas were expected to stay in

Canada for 10 years through an agreement with China. They arrived in 2014 to

spend five years in Toronto. They had two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue,

and moved to Calgary in 2018.

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The cubs were later moved to China.