Er Shun (female) and Da Mao (male) arrived from China in March 2013 and will continue to call the Toronto Zoo home until 2018, when they will move to Calgary for 5 years. The two pandas were borrowed from China at an annual rent of $1,000,000 per pair and it is paid towards the welfare of species.
Last year, Er Shun gave birth to two baby pandas, Jia Yueyue (female) and Jia Panpan (male), so there’re lots of cute action going on. The giant pandas are immediately discernible with their black and white markings, and spend their days eating a lot of bamboo and sleeping. Or, do they? Find out for yourself by watching the free livestream cam daily from 9:00am to 6:30pm.
If the live cam is not working (too many people online), you can watch selected YouTube videos.
Watch Live Toronto Zoo Giant Panda Cam
I have visited the Toronto Zoo many times to see the pandas — and I am sorry to say that I have not had much luck and have come back disappointed every single time. Not only do I believe that it is a waste of everyone’s time having to line up to go through an exhibit that is quite uninspiring (and I am being charitable), then you go outside and see not much at all of the pandas. There’s lot of space for everyone so a line up is wholly unnecessary and, since you don’t see much of the pandas, people leave quickly, making space for others.
The livestream cam is something that is therefore much welcomed. I humbly propose that zoo staff redesign the panda pavillon as an optional visit. That is where you place a giant screen where visitors who have tried to get a glimpse of the pandas and did not, can come in and view what is happening inside their den, even if to see the pandas sleeping. At least, they then won’t feel like they’ve wasted their money and time to make a trip to the zoo to see the pandas and didn’t.