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.
“This is too much stress on my team and on the pandas. Can you imagine not having bamboo for a few days?” zoo president and CEO Clément Lanthier told CBC News Tuesday.
“The pandas are eating almost exclusively bamboo. I need fresh bamboo being delivered twice a week.”
The charity is asking the Canadian and Chinese governments to expedite the necessary permits to ship the pandas as soon as possible.