Officials with the Calgary Zoo are expressing concern for two giant pandas who remain at the facility despite a decreasing supply of bamboo, their main food source.
On Wednesday, the zoo released an update, saying it had not yet been able to secure international travel permits to relocate the pandas.
“The Calgary Zoo is currently only able to source fresh bamboo reliably from British Columbia, and this supply is expected to run out in September,” the zoo warned.
Calgary Zoo will return giant pandas to China
According to a news release, the pandas are in good health but the zoo “feels their safety and well-being is in jeopardy.”
“If there is any chance that the zoo cannot bring bamboo to the pandas, the zoo wants to bring the pandas to the bamboo.”
According to the zoo, 99 per cent of a giant panda’s diet is made up of fresh bamboo and each adult giant panda consumes approximately 40 kilograms of bamboo daily.
“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,” Calgary Zoo president and CEO Clément Lanthier said.
“The continued delays in international permitting is putting the health and welfare of these two beautiful giant pandas in jeopardy.”
The pandas first arrived in Canada in 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China.
After spending five years at the Toronto Zoo, the two adult giant pandas travelled to the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue.
The cubs then returned home to China in January, leaving just their parents to wander the Calgary Zoo’s Panda Passage exhibit.
Calgary Zoo prepared to bid farewell to giant panda twins
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