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FedEx to ship China's pandas to Toronto

FedEx Express will be shipping two pandas from China to the Toronto Zoo, the company announced in a YouTube video.

The shipping company has dubbed the operation to move Er Shun and Da Mao “Panda Express.” An exact date for the move has not been set.

Click here for FedEx’s panda blog tracking their journey

“I’m so happy to announce that we are the official transportation provider for two giant pandas,” FedEx Express Canada president Lisa Lisson says in the video.

It’s not the first time FedEx has shipped animals: Lisson says they’ve moved alligators, whales and tigers across the world.

“It’s not just a matter of putting pandas in a crate and flying them here,” Toronto Zoo mammal curator Maria Franke said in the video.

“When you’re dealing with a living, breathing creature, their safety is the main focus. There’s tons of vet testing, inoculations, arranging for the permits and logistical [concerns],” Franke said.

“That [FedEx] has done it before is a huge weight off our shoulders,” she said.

FedEx will also be shipping 200-300 kilograms of bamboo from Memphis, Tennessee for the pandas.

Check out FedEx’s video detailing the operation below, or click here to view it.

The zoo board approved the proposal from FedEx in September. The two pandas are on loan from China and are set to arrive in the spring.

Zoo CEO John Tracogna unveiled the pandas’ new enclosure late last year, saying he hopes the pair will mate while in the city.

Er Shun and Da Mao will travel to Calgary once their time in Toronto is up.  However, if the female becomes pregnant during her stay in the city, the pandas could stay longer.

It’s trickier than it looks: female pandas are only fertile for one 48-hour period every year.

“We hope to be able to breed them. It would be the first of its kind in Canada,” Tracogna said.

The last time pandas were at the zoo, in 1985, the zoo saw record attendance: 1.9 million people visited the three-month-long exhibit.