FedEx Makes Historic Panda Delivery to Toronto Zoo
MISSISSAUGA, Ont., —FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company, has safely delivered two giant pandas from China to the Toronto Zoo following months of preparations and public anticipation.
The giant pandas, breeding pair Er Shun (female) and Da Mao (male), made the journey from Chengdu, China, to the FedEx Express Canadian Hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport, aboard a specially branded MD-11 aircraft donated by FedEx.
The pandas arrived at 10:47 a.m. EDT after an 18 hour trip. FedEx Express, the Toronto Zoo, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding collaborated extensively to ensure all necessary precautions were taken to provide a safe and comfortable flight for the pandas. Animal care experts were granted special flight privileges to accompany the pandas onboard the aircraft.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was airside to officially sign for Canada’s receipt of the giant pandas on a FedEx PowerPad handed to him by Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada.
“Today is significant for Canadians as it marks an important symbol of trade and diplomacy between our country and China. As the world’s global transportation leader, FedEx understands first-hand the opportunity and potential that comes with strengthened relationships and improved global connectivity—all of which is wrapped into the symbolism of today’s delivery,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. “As excited as we are about facilitating this exchange between Canada and China, I can attest that all our 6,000-strong team of employees, from coast-to-coast, are as eagerly excited about the prospects of a giant panda cub being born on Canadian soil.”
Following the arrival of FedEx Panda Express, Er Shun and Da Mao were transported by two FedEx Express trucks to Toronto Zoo where they will begin a five-year stay before transferring to Calgary. The specially-branded FedEx Express trucks will stay in service throughout the giant pandas’ stay in Toronto, delivering 600 to 900 kilograms of fresh bamboo supplies two-to-three times a week, courtesy of the Memphis Zoo.
As announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 11, 2012, the cooperative conservation agreement with China marked the first time in more than twenty years that a giant panda has been loaned to a Canadian zoo. The agreement also marked the first time the Chinese government has granted a ten-year loan of breeding giant pandas to any international zoo in the world.
Following a brief but mandatory quarantine, the giant pandas will be on view to the public at a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art giant panda exhibit at the Toronto Zoo sometime in mid-May (exact date to determined). The program will allow the Toronto Zoo to contribute to ongoing international efforts to protect and increase the population of the endangered giant pandas through investments in research and conservation efforts. Currently, conservationists estimate that there are just over 2,000 giant pandas left in the wild.
“We are honoured to have giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, arrive at the Toronto Zoo and look forward to the opportunity of contributing to the survival of this beautiful species for generations to come,” said John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “The Toronto Zoo is thrilled to join the small group of countries and highly respected zoo organizations outside of China that have the conservation and research programs, professional expertise, and facilities to provide excellent care for a breeding pair of pandas.”
FedEx Express has successfully transported a number of giant panda pairs, underscoring the company’s commitment to safely and securely transporting even the world’s most precious cargo:
China to Paris, France (2012)
China to Edinburgh, Scotland (2011)
Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, USA, to China (2010)
China to Memphis, USA (2003)
China to Washington, D.C., USA (2000)
About the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s Premier zoo and a leader in animal preservation and environmental protection. More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping animals and their natural habitats—from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except Christmas, and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air and ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit http://news.van.fedex.com/intl/ca.
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