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Chinese President Ok's Pandas to go to Canada


The Chinese President Hu Jintao has given permission for Canada to proceed in discussions with Panda Reserves in obtaining a pair of pandas, which will be housed in Canada.

Toronto Zoo first began talks with the Chinese Government to obtain a pair of breeding pandas for a loan period of ten years. Then officials from Calgary and Montreal Zoos have asked to keep pandas but did not want to take them on loan for the full ten years, they proposed that all three zoos share the ten year loan, and each zoo has the pair for three years each.

Dr Zhang Mingda of the China Panda Base has expressed concerns over the sharing of the pandas and would like to see the pandas stay at Toronto Zoo for the full term. Dr Mingda believes that the loan should not just be for exhibitions, but the pandas should be part of a larger protection and research activities and that such activities could not be done in three years.

Dr Mingda has said that the pandas will not arrive in Canada until 2012 at the earliest as the Panda House has not been built yet.