Pandas return home after leaving Canada amid bamboo shortage

CHENGDU, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — Two giant pandas on Sunday landed on their homeland in southwest China after prematurely finishing their stay at a Canadian zoo, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their bamboo supply.

“Da Mao” and “Er Shun,” whose chartered flight arrived in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, early Sunday morning, have been sent to Chongqing Municipality for quarantine, according to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Canada’s Calgary Zoo, from which the pair were returned, earlier this year said COVID-19 travel restrictions made it difficult to transport bamboo to feed the pandas. After negotiations, the Canadian and Chinese sides agreed to bring back the black-and-white stars to China ahead of schedule.

The Chengdu base on Sunday thanked Canada for its support in China’s giant panda protection and called on both countries to continue exchanges and cooperation on the protection of endangered species.

The two pandas arrived in Canada in 2013 as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China over the animal’s protection and research.

After spending five years at the Toronto Zoo, the duo moved to the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with twin cubs, “Jia Panpan” and “Jia Yueyue,” which had traveled home to China in January.

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