Canada aims to double its pandas
With the exciting announcement by the Toronto Zoo of giant panda Er-Shun’s pregnancy on Sept 30, the prime minister’s office made the commitment that a re-elected Conservative government would set a target of doubling Canada’s giant panda population by 2016.
For the first time in more than 20 years, Canada is once again home to giant pandas. The two pandas — female Er Shun and male Da Mao — will be in Canada for the next eight years and are splitting their time between the zoos of Toronto and Calgary.
“I was thrilled to welcome Da Mao and Er Shun to Canada in March 2013,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “Doubling Canada’s panda population is an ambitious goal, but with the hopeful arrival of two new baby pandas, Canadians will have the opportunity for even more panda sightings in both Toronto and Calgary.”
The prime minister also noted that his low-tax, balanced-budget plan to protect Canada’s economy would ensure a consistent supply of bamboo and other treats for Er-Shun and Da Mao.
Toronto Zoo staff confirmed the finding that Er Shun, a giant female panda on loan from China, is pregnant and expecting twins, after weeks of painstaking ultrasounds that eventually uncovered heartbeats. Officials say the next three or four weeks are critical in the pregnancy and everyone is cautiously hopeful.