The Giant Pandas at Toronto Zoo
What a thrilling experience to see the giant pandas at the Toronto Zoo! The 'Giant Panda Experience' is the new home of Er Shun and Da Mao and the exhibit is now open.
The visit begins with a state-of-the-art Panda Interpretive Centre.
Before meeting the adorable new giant panda pair, visitors will first travel through the new, state-of-the-art Panda Interpretive Centre. This climate controlled 8,000 square foot environment features many interpretive and interactive elements that can be enjoyed year round. Themes include Eating Bamboo, Threats to Giant Pandas, and Saving Giant Pandas.
The 8,000 square foot environment features many interpretive and interactive elements.
Some of the key features of the exhibit include:
How much Bamboo Do Giant Pandas Eat
A large display showcasing the amount of bamboo that is offered to each panda on a daily basis.
Find the Giant Panda
An interactive game where players have to find the pandas in their natural Chinese habitats. Learn about how and where pandas live in the wild.
Meet the Experts
A multimedia presentation which introduces visitors to the people behind the scenes at the Zoo who will be caring for and working with the giant pandas during their stay.
This large 12 foot wide multi-player interactive touch screen wall encourages players to plant bamboo trees which will create links between isolated Panda habitats. As players connect habitats they are rewarded by seeing the pandas move from one habitat to another and, in turn, make more pandas. This game reinforces the important message about how fragmented bamboo forest habitats are, one of the main threats to the survival of the species. Visitors can find our more about the current efforts in China to increase panda habitats.
The Forest Corridor
An immersive bamboo forest habitat link leads guest from the Panda Education Centre out to the Panda Exhibit where they will meet Er Shun and Da Mao. This link showcases how increased habitat benefits many species in addition to the giant panda.
Meeting the pandas...
After going through the Panda Interpretive Centre, visitors then have a chance to see Da Mao and Er Shun in either their outdoor exhibits or in their indoor holdings.
On the day of our visit, Er Shun, the female, was sleeping in the indoor inclosure while Da Mao, the male giant panda, was in a bamboo tree eating away!
Er Shun, the female giant panda.
The indoor inclosure.
Da Mao, the male giant panda.
It's all about the pandas at the Toronto Zoo!
Even the landscaping is showing off the pandas!
Meet the Zoo's Panda Mascott for some great photo opps!
You can now visit the giant pandas daily at the Toronto Zoo. The Giant Panda Experience is FREE with general admission. For more information, visit: www.torontozoo.com/pandas.
Some background info...
As part of a long-term conservation partnership agreement between China and Canada, signed by Hu Jintao, President of China and Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, China has loaned two giant pandas to two Canadian Zoos (Toronto Zoo and Calgary Zoo) for a ten year period. The Toronto Zoo will be home to the breeding pair for a minimum of five years from 2013 to 2018. The pandas will then relocate to the Calgary Zoo sometime in 2018. Should there be successful breeding while the pair are at the Toronto Zoo, the pandas, and offspring, would remain in Toronto until such time as it is approved to move them.
Giant panda Er Shun (the female) came to the Toronto Zoo from Chongqing Zoo, China and Da Mao, the male giant panda, came from Chengdu. The two giant pandas have settled in very well to their new habitat at the Toronto Zoo. They are eating a lot of bamboo and they both like the Aurea species.
What is the Toronto Zoo doing to support giant panda conservation? The zoo is currently supporting a bamboo and habitat restoration project in China through the Endangered Species Reserve fund in collaboration with the Memphis Zoo. As well the Toronto Zoo has employed a Reproductive Physiologist who will not only investigate ways to improve the reproduction of endangered species but will also utilize her expertise for the zoo's very own breeding program for Er Shun and Da Mao.