Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the new baby pandas at the Toronto Zoo today and said they are more than just a fuzzy attraction.
“The panda is a symbol of peace and friendship which is fitting considering Canada’s ever-growing relationship with China,” he said.
Trudeau says today is a historic day for the Toronto Zoo as it will increase the amount of tourism to the city.
“This is a big day for the Toronto Zoo, and indeed for the entire city of Toronto. As Canada’s largest Zoo, the Toronto Zoo has been a central part of this City since 1974,” he said.
Trudeau helped announce the names of the twin pandas.
The male panda’s name was chosen as Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and the female panda’s name is Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy).
Voters across Canada participated in choosing the name of the two cubs.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory were also at the ceremony welcoming the cubs and thanking China for the opportunity of being one out of the twelve countries to have pandas.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 7, 2016
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) March 7, 2016
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 7, 2016
With nearly 2,400 pandas in total around the world, Canada is known to have 4 out of the 44 pandas outside of China.
The pandas will be accessible to the public starting Saturday, March 12.