Prime Minister Stephen Harper received two giant pandas as a gift from the People's Republic of China on March 25 in Toronto. Female Er Shun and male Da Mao will make Canada their home for the next decade.
Meanwhile, Premier Christy Clark is expected to receive an Indian elephant on behalf of British Columbians as a gift for hosting the inaugural, April 4-6 Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver.
|TOIFA trophy unveiling on Jan. 22 in Vancouver.|
TOIFA has been dogged by controversy since the Jan. 22 announcement because of the $11 million taxpayer subsidy and the timing, just five weeks before the provincial election. Tickets are still available. Many tickets.
|Tourism Vancouver is having fun with TOIFA.|
The special mammal cargo from the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was sent as a gift of the Government of India, aboard the freighter Prabhu Daya, with a veterinarian and a trainer. The Singapore-flagged bulk carrier arrived in Port Metro Vancouver last week from Mumbai and the pachyderm was delivered under cover of night to a secret barn at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove (Fort Langley-Aldergrove's MLA is Deputy Premier Rich Coleman).
The two-tonne female elephant named Murkha was chosen because it was born Feb. 26, 2011, the day Clark won her party's leadership contest. Murkha is expected to be featured in the "Jai Ho" grand finale number of the gala awards at B.C. Place Stadium; a loading bay at the stadium has been outfitted as Murkha's "dressing room." The Times of India Film Awards' trophy features a black elephant holding a film reel in its trunk.
Spokeswoman Avril Tromper said a photo opportunity, featuring Clark and Coleman riding Murkha the Elephant, is expected to happen just before noon on April 1.