With a reputation for safely delivering precious cargo of all kinds, FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will rise to the challenge again this spring, donating its logistical expertise and in-kind transportation for two giant pandas heading from Chengdu, China to a new home in Toronto, Canada.
FedEx Express will ship Er Shun, a five-year-old female panda, and Da Mao, a four-year-old male panda, via a dedicated charter flight on an MD-11F aircraft specially named the “FedEx Panda Express.” Animal care experts from both China and Canada have been granted special flight privileges to accompany the giant pandas onboard the aircraft to ensure the animals’ safety and comfort. The pandas are tentatively scheduled to arrive in Canada in spring 2013, with the final date of delivery subject to final regulatory approvals.
“These rare animals are beautiful symbols of China and represent the truest definition of ‘precious cargo’ for the FedEx team,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. “FedEx Express is honored to use our logistical expertise to lead the move. This transport highlights our ability to meet our customers’ distinctive shipping needs, while also solidifying the FedEx role as a global citizen—connecting the world through our unique network and specialized areas of expertise.”
A cooperative conservation agreement between Canada and China means Er Shun and Da Mao will spend five years at the Toronto Zoo, followed immediately by another five years at the Calgary Zoo. This marks the first time in twenty years that giant pandas have been loaned to a Canadian zoo, and allows both zoos to contribute to ongoing international efforts to preserve the species. Conservationists estimate that just over 2,000 giant pandas remain in the wild.
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