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

Image: Arrow Lakes Historical Society
Historic Kootenay hot springs

The hot springs is running with reduced operations to meet government COVID-19 protocols

The 1100-block of Pine Avenue in downtown Trail is closed to traffic this week as crews from Seko Construction install water and sewer service connections for the new gas station slated to open this summer. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Traffic change in downtown Trail this week

The 1100-block of Pine Avenue is closed to vehicles

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

The Trail Smoke Eaters fell 6-1 to the Penticton Vees on Sunday, their third loss to the perennial BCHL powerhouse six games into the 20-game season. Photo: Stephen Piccolo
Penticton Vees dominant in win over Trail Smoke Eaters

Trail Smoke Eaters enjoy two day break until their fourth meeting with Penticton Vees on Wednesday

Kalesnikoff Lumber will be providing materials for a 21-storey apartment building in Vancouver. Rendering: Henriquez Partners Architects
Kalesnikoff supplying mass timber for several major projects

The West Kootenay lumber company will be making the products at South Slocan facility

St. Joseph School Grade 2 student Zoe Kenny watches as Christopher Yates shows her how to string a new drum using hide from his own cows. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: With good intentions, Nelson school builds Métis drum

The St. Joseph School project is directed by parent Christopher Yates

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read