Mar 25, 2013

By Jane Brown

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They’re finally here two giant pandas on loan to Canada from China have touched down in Toronto.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his wife Laureen and Chinese ambassador Zhang Junsai are among those on hand to welcome the furry black and white beasts to the country.

Five-year-old Er Shun and her prospective mate, four-year-old Da Mao, arrived in the “Panda Express,” a specially outfitted FedEx Express Canada plane branded with an image of a panda on its exterior.

Their arrival the first panda visit in 24 years marks the realization of a deal reached when Harper visited China just over a year ago, and is seen as a symbol of a significant thaw in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The pandas will be taken in specially branded trucks from the tarmac to the Toronto Zoo, where they will live for five years before being transferred to the Calgary Zoo for another five years.

Once they arrive at the Toronto Zoo today, the pandas will be quarantined for 30 days and kept away from the public until a special exhibit opens later this year.

(The Canadian Press)

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