Canada zoo to send pandas home after bamboo shortage

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper peers into giant panda Da Mao’s enclosure upon his arrival in Toronto, Canada on March 25, 2013. (Prime Minister of Canada/AFP file photo)
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Updated 13 May 2020

Canada zoo to send pandas home after bamboo shortage

  • Er Shun and her mate Da Mao have lived in Canada since 2013
  • Staff had worked to find alternative bamboo providers but there were concerns that supplies could be disrupted

OTTAWA: A Canadian zoo is shipping two pandas home to China after the coronavirus pandemic left it struggling to source the massive bamboo stockpiles needed to feed the giant creatures.
Er Shun and her mate Da Mao have lived in the country since 2013 as part of a 10-year loan agreement with a breeding facility in Chengdu.
The arrival of the cute and furry animals was a huge spectacle that was broadcast live on all major Canadian television networks.
Er Shun later mothered two twin cubs — the first pandas born on Canadian soil.
But Calgary Zoo said it was cutting short the pair’s stay because the COVID-19 outbreak had disrupted transport links and made it harder to supply the 40 kilograms (90 pounds) of bamboo a typical adult panda eats each day.
Staff had worked to find alternative bamboo providers but there were concerns that supplies could be disrupted without warning and leave the animals hungry, the zoo said in a statement.
“Knowing a second wave of COVID-19 is likely ... the Calgary Zoo feels it’s critical to move the beloved giant pandas back to China where there are abundant local sources of bamboo,” the statement said.
The zoo is currently closed due to the pandemic and said it would not be able to allow the public to bid farewell to the animals.
Er Shun and Da Mao’s cubs have already been relocated to China, according to national broadcaster CBC.


‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

Updated 02 June 2020

‘Tiger King’ star loses animal park to nemesis he tried to kill

  • Joe Exotic’s feud with Baskin captivated millions in a Netflix documentary that became a sensation during the early stages of the lockdown
  • A judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin after a protracted legal wrangle

NEW YORK: The star of hit Netflix series “Tiger King” will have to hand over the ownership of his famous zoo to the nemesis he tried to have murdered, a court has ruled.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is in jail after he was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January for the attempted murder of Carole Baskin.
His feud with Baskin, an animal sanctuary owner, captivated millions in the Netflix documentary that became a sensation when it was released in March as America went into coronavirus lockdown.
Baskin had for years accused Exotic of abusing the animals, including tigers, in his park.
Exotic said Baskin was trying to destroy his business, and their dispute ended up in a years-long legal battle.
On Monday, a judge in Oklahoma ruled that the ownership of Exotic’s 16-acre land in the state must be transferred to Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida.
The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park will have to vacate the premises, “including removal of all zoo animals,” Judge Scott Palk said in the decision.
In 2013, a Florida court ordered Exotic to pay Baskin $1 million because his company had used logos and images similar to those of Big Cat Rescue.
Exotic tried to get off from paying by shielding his assets, leading to this second lawsuit, with the judge ruling in Baskin’s favor.
“Tiger King,” a seven-part documentary, was one of Netflix’s most-watched shows.
The platform announced in late April that in one month, 64 million subscribers had seen all or part of the series.
Exotic, 57, has requested a pardon from President Donald Trump.