Toronto Zoo prepared to promote the pandas

The Toronto Zoo is expecting a big attendance boost courtesy of the arrival of Er Shun and Da Mao, the two giant pandas staying in the city for the next five years. The zoo is also expecting that many people will want to have souvenirs of their visit to the exhibit.
With giant pandas in town, the zoo is prepared to promote them. 2:47

The Toronto Zoo is expecting that the people who come to see the giant pandas will also want to bring home souvenirs.

Er Shun and Da Mao, the giant pandas that will spend the next five years in Toronto, landed at Pearson International Airport on Monday morning on a special plane dubbed the FedEx Panda Express.

After being greeted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, they were transported via FedEx trucks to the zoo later in the afternoon.

Da Mao, a four-year-old male giant panda, was transported by FedEx from Chengdu, China to Toronto. (FedEx Canada)

The zoo's chief executive officer, John Tracogna, told CBC Toronto that they are expecting at least 300,000 new visitors in just the first year of the pandas' stay in Toronto.

With that in mind, the zoo is well-stocked with merchandise that is related to the giant pandas, including many T-shirt and stuffed animals. Tracgona said the zoo hopes to be sold out of panda-themed goods by the end of the five-year visit.

Visitors will be able to buy panda merchandise at various zoo gift shops, including at a new shop that has been set up exclusively for the panda exhibit.

The zoo has not hosted giant pandas since 1985, when two other pandas came to the city for a brief stay of just a few months.

Click on the video above to see a full report from the CBC’s Natalie Kalata.