Giant pandas Panpan (right) and Yueyue are shown in a January 2019 handout photo from the Calgary Zoo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Zoo)

Giant panda pair born at Canadian zoo return to China

Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue arrived safely at a research facility in the southwestern city of Chengdu

The first giant panda twins born in Canada have safely arrived in the land of their roots.

The Calgary Zoo says Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue are exploring their new panda pad at a breeding research facility in Chengdu, China.

The zoo says the pandas — whose names mean Canadian Hope and Canadian Joy — left Calgary on a flight early Friday with their keeper and a member of the facility’s veterinary team.

Their caregivers from Chengdu flew to Calgary last year to meet them and get to know their routines.

The pandas were born at the Toronto Zoo in 2015 and were transferred to Calgary with their parents in March 2018, as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China.

Parents Er Shun and Da Mao are to remain in Calgary until 2023.

The young pandas were to leave in October, but that was delayed by international permitting and air transport challenges.

“We’re proud to have contributed to panda research and conservation for their two-year stay with us,” Jamie Dorgan, the Calgary Zoo’s director of animal care, said in a statement Monday.

“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.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Epic sky palace’: Island businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan death

Man, 53, dies after reported assault early Monday

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Tenant forced out of sewage-flooded Victoria building angry at ‘lack of human decency’

Woman says tenants weren’t treated like ‘human beings’ when forced from homes in Wellburn’s building

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Proposed development freeze melts in North Cowichan

Huge pro-business crowd at Monday night meeting carries the day

Victoria man out $6,000 in latest gift card phone scam

Fraudsters claimed to be a member of a bank’s “fraud sting team”

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read