Calgary Zoo

07 May 2018 | Canada
Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo raised the curtain Monday on its newly acquired family of four giant pandas in a ceremony unveiling their brand-new, $14.5-million exhibit.

The family, which consists of two adults and their two cubs, is currently in the middle of a 10-year loan to Canada from China.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell and Lu Sha Ye, China’s ambassador to Canada, were among the dignitaries who attended the public unveiling on Monday. Dozens of children dressed as pandas were also on hand.

Adults Er Shun and Da Mao started their tenure at the Toronto Zoo in 2013, and gave birth to cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue two years later. Now all four will take up residence in Calgary, although the cubs are slated to return to China to participate in a breeding program in 2020.

Members of the Calgary Zoo were permitted to visit the pandas ahead of their public unveiling, during a special preview from Apr. 27 to May 5.

The new Panda Passage exhibit was built in the building that once housed elephants.