Loading articles...

Giant panda exhibit opens at Toronto Zoo on May 18

Female panda Er Shun eats bamboo at the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo in Chongqing, China, on Feb. 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The public will get to see giant pandas at the Toronto Zoo beginning on the May long weekend.

Zoo officials said Er Shun and Da Mao have been under quarantine since their March 25 arrival and will slowly be introduced to the rest of their habitat leading up to the grand opening of the exhibit on May 18.

Last month, five-year-old Er Shun and her prospective mate, four-year-old Da Mao, arrived at Pearson airport aboard the Panda Express, a specially outfitted FedEx Canada plane branded with an image of a panda.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his wife Laureen, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the Chinese ambassador were on hand to welcome the animals.

The pair will be living in Canada for the next 10 years, splitting their time equally between the Toronto Zoo and the Calgary Zoo.

Their arrival — the first panda visit in 24 years — is the realization of a deal reached when Harper visited China just over a year ago.

With files from The Canadian Press