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.
Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada signs for the pandas. (Photo: Business Wire)
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 flight. 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.”