• China has loaned two rare giant pandas to Canada for a research program.
  • The Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) on Feb 11 signed an agreement with two Canadian zoos in this regard in Chongqing municipality in southwest China.
  • The panda pair, both about five years old, will stay in Toronto and Calgary zoos for five years each after they arrive in Canada early next year, Xinhua reported.
  • The male panda, named “Er Shun”, is from a zoo in Chongqing and the female “Ji Li” lives at a research centre in Chengdu.
  • Giant pandas are the world’s most endangered species. Currently, only about 1,590 Giant pandas live in the wild, mostly confined to the jungles in south-western China’s Sichuan province. About 300 others have been bred in captivity.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper witnessed Saturday’s signing ceremony. “They will be the first pair of pandas to visit Canada since the 1980s,” Mr. Harper said.
  • Mr. Harper arrived in Beijing Tuesday on a five-day trip as a state guest. He held talks with top Chinese leaders and witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements. He visited the southern economic hub of Guangdong province before heading to Chongqing.