Giant pandas journey from Toronto to Calgary Zoo underway Friday

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WATCH ABOVE: Giant pandas' journey from Toronto Zoo to Calgary Zoo begins – Mar 23, 2018

The second half of a panda family’s Canadian sojourn is underway Friday, as the animals head out of Toronto to a new home out west.

Two giant pandas on loan from China, plus the two babies they produced while living at the Toronto Zoo, will be relocating to Calgary where they will remain for as long as five years.

READ MORE: Looking back 5 years at the giant pandas’ time with the Toronto Zoo

Da Mao and Er Shun, plus offspring Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, will be the first pandas to visit the city since the 1988 Olympics and will take up residence in a multimillion-dollar facility at the Calgary Zoo built expressly for their arrival.

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The two panda parents were loaned to Canadian zoos for 10 years as part of a 2012 deal with China.

READ MORE: Calgary Zoo introduces ticket initiatives ahead of Panda Passage opening

They have lived at the Toronto Zoo since 2013, where the cubs were born and later famously photographed in the arms of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The cubs will head back to China after a year and a half in Calgary to be part of a breeding program, while the adults will stay on in Canada to try and become second-time parents.

The panda exhibit is set to open in Calgary on May 7.

— With a file from Global News

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