Project 90: Panda Bears Return Home

Student Name(s): Fatima

School: Edmonton Islamic Academy

Grade: 4


Research Topic / Main Questions:

Why did the Panda bears leave the Calgary Zoo? Why is it important to protect animals? How can you learn more about Panda bears?

Why did you choose this topic:

I chose to research panda bears because I like animals. I am interested in biology. Panda bears are friendly herbivores, and I enjoyed seeing them in films and books. In class, my classmates and I viewed the Disney Nature film Born in China. I became interested in giant pandas after watching the video. I was sad to hear that they left Canada because I didn’t get a chance to see them at the Calgary Zoo.

Please summarize your experience in researching this project?

Two panda bears came to Canada in 2013. Canada and China made an agreement for them to stay at the Toronto Zoo and Calgary Zoo. During their stay, they had 2 cubs. The 2 giant pandas were Er Shun and Da Mao. The 4 pandas arrived at Calgary Zoo in 2018. Giant pandas eat 40 kilograms of bamboo a day. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought supply challenges. Even before the pandemic, finding fresh bamboo was becoming harder. Eventually, the decision was made to return the pandas to China in November 2020. They returned 3 years early because their health was important.

How did you personally connect to this project?

I am a Muslim, I practice the religion Islam. Respecting nature and all living things are important to me and all Muslims. I enjoy nature and animals. Panda bears are special to me because they are peaceful and have a care-free nature. Islam means peace. As of 2020, Pandas are no longer on the endangered species list, but they are classified as vulnerable. The World Wildlife Fund wrote that the panda’s “population increased by 17% in a decade. It shows that conservation efforts are working and provides hope for the world’s other threatened wildlife.” In social studies, we have discussed that conservation of natural resources is important. The panda bears’ survival and growth in population is an example.

What are your conclusions about your topic?

Experts concluded that the decision to return the giant pandas to China was out of safety. The pandas from the Calgary Zoo have returned home to China. They were scheduled to be in Canada longer, but their well-being was more important. I was sad to hear that the Calgary Zoo couldn’t find fresh and suitable bamboo for the pandas. This was extremely hard during the COVID-19 pandemic because shipping items from around the world was riskier because of germs. Everyone was taking more safety measures. Having food is important because it is a physical need and it affects the quality of life for people as well as animals. Thank you Di-Moa and Er Shun for visiting Canada at the Toronto Zoo and Calgary Zoo. We are grateful for the chance to learn more about giant pandas.