For Calgarians who enjoy patronizing local attractions in the city, the forecasted temporary additions to the Calgary Zoo may add to the draw of this great attraction.
While the Prime Minister was in China recently, he negotiated a ten-year deal whereby the zoos in Toronto and Calgary will get a pair of giant pandas on loan for a period of time. These furry ambassadors will be visiting the Calgary Zoo in 2018, so there is still a bit of a wait to get to see them locally. The breeding pair will be spending 5 years at the Toronto Zoo before their 5 year visit in Calgary.
The loan of this pair of giant pandas doesn’t come cheaply for the Canadian zoos, each year that the pair are in Canadian zoos will cost $1 million. Both the Calgary and Toronto zoos are confident that these costs will be recouped by increased visits to the zoos and by donations. The money that is spent on these furry visitors will go towards giant panda habitat conservation in China. The practice of China's "Panda diplomacy" dates back to the Tang Dynasty (around 650 CE), with the Chinese empress of the time sending a pair of these iconic animals to the Japanese emporer.
Visitors looking for a bit of fun at the zoo before the giant pandas arrive are invited to visit the Calgary Zoo’s current exhibits, which include:
- Penguin Plunge: A naturalistic penguin habitat which houses four species of penguins, including the fast swimming Gentoo penguins, huge King penguins, the diving Rockhopper penguins, and uniquely patterned Humbolt penguins.
- Behind-the-Scenes Programs: As an additional zoo experience, with a nominal fee, you can experience what goes on behind the scenes with a variety of different animals at the Calgary Zoo. Choose between bears, giraffes, lions, gorillas, penguins, or tigers.
- Eurasia Sleepover: Sleep in the Elephant Crossing building and spent the evening learning about elephants, tigers, and the diversity that can be found in Eurasia.
- Safari Brunch: Every Sunday we offer a delicious brunch at the Safari Lodge.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®