Panda Bears

So you might be wondering, “Why is she talking about panda bears on a Whooping crane website?”

There are a couple of reasons…

First, Operation Migration started out in Canada and eventually expanded to the US as well.

Recently the Toronto Zoo had the honour of hosting two panda bears on loan from China. While in the zoo’s care, a set of panda cubs twins were born. What can be any cuter than a roly-poly, chubby bear cub? As of Friday, March 23rd the family of four travelled to Calgary Zoo, where they will be on display for the remaining five years. It is hoped they will have more cubs while at their facility, as Calgary Zoo is part of a global conservation breeding program.

Which brings me to the connection to Whooping cranes – they are also the only Canadian breeding facility for Whooping cranes at the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre which is part of the Calgary Zoo. Many of those eggs have been supplied to WCEP for the eastern migratory population.

Before I began working for Operation Migration the first and maybe only endangered species that would come to mind was the panda, probably due in no small part to the World Wildlife Fund logo. Imagine my disbelief when I learned there were more pandas in the wild than was Whooping cranes. I clearly remember asking Heather, “Why don’t more people know about this?” 2014 figures estimate them around 1,800. When I started here in 2001 we had a sticker on our vehicles that stated “Fewer than 500 Whooping cranes”.

So, if you are looking for a trip to take, why not consider going to the Calgary Zoo where you can see panda bears and Whooping cranes…

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  1. westendoldbird April 16, 2018 11:18 am

    It was hear that I heard about the WC’s in Calgary and made a road trip there to see live ones. Camera is great but live is better. That got me in the mindset to see them in Wisc. at CraneFest sooner than later. And I had the company of a long time viewer with me on that trip. Now, I have crossed both of those off my bucket list.

  2. Maggie Turk April 4, 2018 2:08 pm

    Sounds like a trip to put on my “bucket list”.