On Monday March 25th 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed a pair of giant pandas at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, for their 10-year stay in Canada. The pandas were scheduled to arrive in Toronto at 10:30 a.m, but were delayed by about 20 minutes. Er Shun, a five-year-old female and Da Mao, a four-year-old male, arrived in Toronto from China on a FedEx flight that landed Monday morning. For the next five years, the pandas will be at the Toronto Zoo. They will spend the final half of their Canadian visit in Calgary. The Toronto Zoo hasn’t had a giant pandas display in almost three decades.
Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Zhang Junsai, the Chinese ambassador for Canada, were all at the airport for the animals’ arrival in Toronto. He thanked the prime minister for welcoming “the VIPs — that is, Very Important Pandas — from China.
This was a very important event at this time since Canada doesn’t have many zoos with pandas. It is also going to be an interesting tourist attraction and the zoo has high hopes for the panda exhibit, which is expected to formally open in May. The staff at Toronto Zoo are hoping they get more visitors because of this.