It has been quite the journey for these two panda cubs, but they’ve finally arrived safe and sound in China.
Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue — Canadian Hope and Canadian Joy, respectively — had been born in 2015 in the Toronto Zoo, where their parents, Er Shun and Da Mao, were spending part of their 10-year Canada visit from China.
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The whole family went on to spend time in Calgary, Alberta, as of March 2018, and while the older pandas will be sticking around until 2023, the cubs were recently sent home.
A Calgary Zoo release from January 13 stated that both cubs had made it to China safe and sound, accompanied by a panda keeper and a member of the veterinary team, both from the Calgary Zoo.
The entire ensemble spent some time exploring the cubs’ new home at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, which had sent caregivers to Calgary in 2019 to meet the cubs and get to know their routines.
“We would like to thank our staff and transportation partners for their significant planning and hard work to get the giant panda cubs back home safely,” said Jamie Dorgan, Calgary Zoo’s Director of Animal Care, in the release.
“We’re proud to have contributed to panda research and conservation for their two-year stay with us and are excited for that to continue for the next three years. Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue will be deeply missed by our staff, volunteers, community, and indeed people right across North America who visited them during their stay in Canada.”
Er Shun and Da Mao are still around to visit at the Calgary Zoo’s Panda Passage habitat.