Giant pandas land in Toronto
FedEx Express has delivered two giant pandas from China to the Toronto Zoo.
The giant pandas, breeding pair Er Shun and Da Mao, made the journey from Chengdu, China, to Toronto Pearson International Airport aboard a specially branded MD-11 aircraft donated by FedEx.
Toronto Pearson International Airport won the Air Cargo Excellence award from Air Cargo World.
FedEx Express, the Toronto Zoo and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding collaborated to ensure all necessary precautions were taken to transport the pandas. Animal care experts were granted special flight privileges to accompany the pandas onboard the aircraft.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pictured above) officially signed 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," Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada, said.
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.
"We are honored 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," John Tracogna, CEO of Toronto Zoo, said. "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."