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May you find yourself in the world…and may you enjoy the company!
From the Toronto Zoo newsletter.

This year will be a very exciting time for the Toronto zoo. Two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao will be arriving from China in the spring, and the zoo is ready for them. They will be here for 5 years, and we hope that they will have some babies.

Breeding pandas is not easy. They have a very short mating period. They are compatible only for 48 to 72 hours. After that they become didinterested. Wild giant pandas are solitary and only come together to mate.

Giant pandas are endangered as are their cousins, the red pandas. Both survive in the same areas and both are in decline due to habitat loss.


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Thank you for posting Inda.
I read this in our zoo newsletter in the office.
I also scanned a little picture from the newsletter, but the quality is not too good. I have to apologize for that.

It will be very exciting to see the pandas and I hope they will have some babies. There are not too many pandas left.

I understand that ther will be a Chinese person coming to teach our zookeepers how to care for the pandas, and that is good.



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Originally posted by dear yoko:
Thank you Inda.

How wonderful to have 2 pandas in your zoo for 5 years.
You are very fortunate. I would love to see the Pandas, if time permits to come to your zoo.I always wanted to see pandas but never had a chance.

Amen and AWOMEN! Wonderful story!!!

Love and *LIGHT* *BEING*,

Have the heart of a gypsy, and the dedication of a soldier -Beethoven in Beethoven Lives Upstairs

They apparently have their own separate indoor and outdoor exhibits.They are naturally solitary animals in the wild.Each exhibit area has climbing structures, plantings, toys and a pool as giant pandas love to swim. Indoor habitats are climate controlled to ensure safety from high summer temperatures.


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Some information on Giant Panda
from the Toronto Zoo newsletter.

Although they once roamed over a large portion of Asia, scientists currently estimate the population of of the Giant panda at only 1,600, making them a seriously endangered species.

In the Han dynasty (206BC-24AD), the highly prized and gentle pandas graced the gardens of the emperors. Pandas were believed to have mystical powers.

The Giant panda is considered a "National Treasure" by the people of China.

The Giant panda is believed to have existed since the Pleistocene age, approximately 3 million years ago.

Their diet consists of almost entirely of bamboo stalks, shoots and roots. They eat from 25 to 40 pounds a day.
When available, they will eat fish, flowers and small animals.
Unlike other bears, the Giant pandas do not store fat and therefore do not hibernate; therefore they are constantly in search for food.
The problem is that the bamboo species flowers and dies. It then takes several years for the bamboo to recover.
They drink water from the rivers and streams in the mountain environment.

Latest research confirms adult Giant pandas are much more "talkative" than we suspected and have the ability to make 11 distinct sounds.

Giant pandas nest on the ground or in hollow trees. Hollow trees are becoming scarcer, creating a problem for breeding.

Females give birth to one or two cubs. The mother will select the stronger of the cubs and the weaker will die.

The Giant panda's primary food source, bamboo, is decreasing. Bamboo grows under the shade of the large fir trees. Logging and clearing the land for agricultural uses is a major factor in the reduction of bamboo. The destruction of Giant panda's habitat, the reduction in available bamboo forests and expanding human population are the main threat to the Giant Panda.
A study in 2004 by the Chinese Department of Forestry estimated the current population of the wild Giant pandas at approximately 1,600. There are also about 300 Giant pandas in captivity.

This magnificent animal, a survivor of the ice age and centuries beyond, is now in grave danger of extinction.
The survival of each living panda becomes crucial to the survival of the species, each animal, those in captivity and in the wild, must be attended to and monitored. The pandas, like other creatures on earth, are valuable and precious. If we are not diligent we will move one step close to a world without these unique creatures, one step closer to the destruction of yet another species and its ecosystem.

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Bao Bao is very cute.


China has introduced six giant pandas into a "semi-wild" environmenty. This is claimed to be one of the most ambitious attempts so far to build up the endangered population with captive-bred bears.


Returning captive pandas into the wild is an important means of protecting the population. It’s also a milestone for the panda conservation program. In the coming days, Xing Rong, Xing Ya and 4 others will be making a new home, in a place where they truly belong.


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Er Shun had twin panda cubs.

Er Shun is one of the two giant pandas on loan to our zoo from China.

The little cubs have their eyes still closed, but they are wiggling around.

They are demonstrating all the right behaviours. Both cubs are suckling/nursing from their mom.Er Shun is forming a close bond with both cubs. The zoo is very pleased, but this is still a critical time for the twins.

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The little pandas are both doing very well. Mom is taking care of both of them now, but has a little trouble carrying them both at the same time.

The twin cubs now weigh 5.55 kg and 4.85 kg. Both continue to become more active and playful, often play-wrestling with one another. Both are trying hard to walk and are improving daily. Their noses are almost fully blackened and their fur continues to become fuller and fuzzier and their teeth continue to come in.

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Panda Facts

  • Female giant pandas are only receptive to breeding once a year for a period of 24 to 72 hours
  • A giant panda is born pink, hairless, blind and is 1/900th the size of its mother (about the size of a stick of butter)
  • 99% of a giant panda's diet consists of bamboo
  • A giant panda's digestive system is more similar to that of a carnivore than a herbivore, yet they have adapted to a vegetarian diet of bamboo
  • A giant panda may eat 12-38 kg of bamboo a day
  • In the wild, a giant panda spends 10 to 16 hours a day foraging and eating. The rest of its time is spent mostly sleeping and resting
  • Unique physical features that help pandas to hold, crush and eat bamboo are broad, flat molar teeth and an enlarged wrist bone that functions as an opposable thumb
  • Giant pandas do not hibernate like other bears do
  • Giant pandas make a bleating sound similar to the sound a lamb or young goat (kid) would make


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