Two giant pandas from China arrive in Toronto today to begin a 10-year stay in Canada. Da Mao and Er Shun will spend the first five years at the Toronto Zoo, and the second half at the Calgary Zoo.

Here are some interesting facts and figures about these rare animals.

Meet the pandas

 

Er Shun

(Mandarin Chinese for "double smoothness")

Sex: female

Born: Aug. 10, 2007

 

Da Mao

("Big Mao")

Sex: male

Born: Sept. 1, 2008

 

Size

  • An adult giant panda weighs between 100 and 150 kilograms, and grows to a height of more than 1.2 metres

Diet

  • Bamboo is the staple of a panda’s diet, accounting for 99 per cent of its food consumption; the remaining one percent is made up of grass and the occasional small rodent
  • Giant pandas consume between 12 and 38 kilograms of bamboo a day
  • While at the Toronto Zoo, Er Shun and Big Mao will also be fed leaf eater biscuits, dog chow, apples and vitamins
  • In the wild, pandas spend up to 16 hours a day collecting food and eating; the rest of the time, they are resting and sleeping

Population

  • Pandas are among the most endangered species in the world — there are only 1,600 giant pandas in the wild
  • China has 63 panda reserves, which preserve their habitats and support breeding programs
  • Five North American zoos currently have pandas; Toronto Zoo will be the sixth

Breeding

  • Giant pandas breed between the ages of four and eight
  • Female giant pandas are only receptive to breeding once a year — for a period of 24 to 72 hours
  • A giant panda baby weighs only 80 to 200 grams, 1/900th the size of its mother
  • When giant pandas are born, they are hairless and pink and don't open their eyes until they are six to eight weeks old
Sources: Toronto Zoo, World Wildlife Fund