Two giant pandas,"Da Mao" and "Er Shun," on Sunday arrived in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, after prematurely finishing their stay at a Canadian zoo, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their bamboo supply.
"Da Mao" and "Er Shun" have been sent to Chongqing Municipality for quarantine, according to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
On average, each giant panda consumes about 40 kilograms of bamboo daily.
The Calgary Zoo had been importing fresh bamboo from China, but struggled to meet the pandas needs when the coronavirus grounded most flights in March.
The zoo said staff worked with the San Diego Zoo and Suncoast Nursery to arrange weekly shipments of fresh bamboo, but the process of finding the right bamboo has been expensive and time-consuming.
In May, the zoo announced it would have to return the two animals four years earlier than planned so that they could enjoy China's abundant supply of fresh bamboo instead.
The zoo said on Friday that after "months and months of hard work" it had secured international permits "to get our beloved pandas home to China".
Throughout their trip home, each panda has about 100 kilograms of bamboo to munch on along with pears, apples and biscuits.
After spending five years at the Toronto Zoo, the duo moved to the Calgary Zoo in March 2018 with twin cubs, "Jia Panpan" and "Jia Yueyue," which had traveled home to China in January.