Panda cubs to stay at Calgary zoo until early 2020

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of two furry black-and-white bears at the Calgary Zoo have a few more months to visit, as the zoo announced Monday that the resident panda cub twins are staying until the new year.

It was originally expected Jai Panpan and Jai Yueyue — who were born at the Toronto Zoo but are due to head to China to participate in a breeding program — would be leaving before the end of the year.

Calgary Zoo exploring options for pandas’ bamboo in light of Beijing-to-Calgary flight hiatus

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Calgary Zoo said the cubs are expected to leave in early 2020.

“We are fortunate to have such an experienced team at the Calgary Zoo dedicated to co-ordinating transportation and logistics for our beloved animals safely and effectively,” the zoo said.

“Come visit Jai Panpan and Jai Yueyue soon!”

Have you heard the news? Our giant panda cubs will be staying at the Calgary Zoo a little bit longer! 🐼Due to the…

Posted by The Calgary Zoo on Monday, October 28, 2019

The zoo said the change is due to complications in the logistics of getting the pandas out of the country.

“Due to the complexity of international permits and the limited number of flights to take them home, they are now expected to leave in early 2020 when the airline we will be using will divert a plane to stop in Calgary to pick up the cubs,” spokesperson Alison Archambault said.

The panda parents came to Canada in 2013 as part of a breeding program, first settling at the Toronto Zoo for five years before travelling west.

Female giant panda Er Shun delivered cubs Jai Panpan and Jai Yueyue in October 2015 after being artificially inseminated. The panda family of four arrived in Calgary in 2018.

The Calgary Zoo announced earlier this month that attempts to artificially inseminate Er Shun a second time were not successful and after months of waiting, officials confirmed the panda was not pregnant.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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