FedEx Express will ship Er Shun, a five-year-old female panda, and Da Mao, a four-year-old male panda, via a dedicated charter flight on an MD-11F aircraft specially named the “FedEx Panda Express.” Animal care experts from both China and Canada have been granted special flight privileges to accompany the giant pandas onboard the aircraft to ensure the animals’ safety and comfort. The pandas are tentatively scheduled to arrive in Canada in spring 2013, with the final date of delivery subject to final regulatory approvals.
“These rare animals are beautiful symbols of China and represent the truest definition of ‘precious cargo’ for the FedEx team,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. FedEx Express is honored to use our logistical expertise to lead the move. This transport highlights our ability to meet our customers’ distinctive shipping needs, while also solidifying the FedEx role as a global citizen—connecting the world through our unique network and specialized areas of expertise.”
A cooperative conservation agreement between Canada and China means Er Shun and Da Mao will spend five years at the Toronto Zoo, followed immediately by another five years at the Calgary Zoo. This marks the first time in twenty years that giant pandas have been loaned to a Canadian zoo, and allows both zoos to contribute to ongoing international efforts to preserve the species. Conservationists estimate that just over 2,000 giant pandas remain in the wild.
“The Toronto Zoo is proud to team with a global company that has participated in international efforts to conserve this important species,” said John Tracogna, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “This is a strategic collaboration that will continue to strengthen and grow over the next five years, during the giant pandas’ stay at the Toronto Zoo.”
In addition, FedEx is collaborating with the Memphis Zoo to ensure the pandas have the food necessary for a healthy and plentiful diet. Bamboo harvested locally by the Memphis Zoo provides food for its own giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le, and will be delivered to the Toronto Zoo via FedEx Express two to three times per week. The Memphis Zoo will send multiple species of bamboo to determine which varieties Er Shun and Da Mao prefer to eat. Experts say adult giant pandas eat an average of 100 pounds of bamboo per day, necessitating the frequent deliveries.
Memphis Zoo horticulture team members will cut roughly 700 pounds of bamboo per shipment, mostly from their 10-acre bamboo farm at Memphis’ Agricenter International, and immediately refrigerate the stalks to keep them fresh. FedEx will then collect the bamboo, and fly the stalks to Toronto.
“We not only have a successful giant panda program at the Memphis Zoo, but we also have an abundance of bamboo thanks to the warmer climate,” said Dr. Chuck Brady, president and CEO of the Memphis Zoo. “Donating our expertise and resources, with the help of FedEx, reinforces the strength of our new zoo partnerships, and helps further the ongoing research designed to protect and breed these endangered animals.”
“FedEx Panda Express” History
The upcoming panda shipment marks the sixth flight of the “FedEx Panda Express.” Past deliveries of giant pandas include:
- China to Paris, France (2012)
- China to Edinburgh, Scotland (2011)
- Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia, to China (2010)
- China to Memphis, Tennessee (2003)
- China to Washington, D.C. (2000)
For more details on the upcoming “FedEx Panda Express” delivery and past panda transports, visit http://blog.van.fedex.com/panda-express.
About the Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo, located in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. Created in April 1906, the zoo has been a major tenant of Overton Park in Memphis for more than 100 years.
About the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo, and a leader in animal preservation and environmental protection. More than a tourist attraction the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping animals and their natural habitats—from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational center for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except Christmas, and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air and ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $43 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.