ALBERTA

Calgary Panda Visit: Excitement Grows As Couple Arrives At Its First Canadian Stop In Toronto

03/25/2013 02:21 EDT | Updated 03/25/2013 03:05 EDT

It wasn't quite pandemonium but news that two pandas -- who after a five-year stay in Toronto will make their way to Alberta -- stoked excitement and rekindled memories of 1988.

Five-year-old Er Shun and her prospective mate, four-year-old Da Mao are on loan to Canada from China and will spend five years in Toronto before their five-year stay at the Calgary Zoo.

Both cities hosted pandas in 1985 and 1988, and the Calgary Zoo has been working for years to get their visitors back, said president and CEO Dr. Clement Lanthier.

"This marks several years of collaboration between Canada and China to bring these majestic animals to our country," he said.

"We are excited for the breeding pair to make their way to Calgary in 2018 for the return of Panda Magic and very soon we’ll begin to prepare for their arrival in Calgary and the five years they will be with us."

According to the Calgary Zoo, there are only approximately 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild and approximately 300 in zoos and breeding centres around the world, making the animals perfect ambassadors on behalf of endangered species everywhere, said Lanthier.

"Giant pandas are an iconic symbol for endangered species,” he said.

“The opportunity to host the pandas will help us to increase awareness of the global conservation challenges facing many species and provide support for ongoing conservation work in China."

But apart from the learning opportunities, the majestic animals also present endless opportunities for Twitter humour.

Click below to see what Calgarians were saying on Twitter about the eventual arrival of the two pandas.

Calgary Panda Reaction