Mayor Against Bringing Pandas to NYC Zoo: Congresswoman

A Manhattan congresswoman is accusing Mayor de Blasio of not supporting her efforts to bring two pandas from China to New York City.

In August, Rep. Carolyn Maloney visited panda preserves in China with hopes of bringing two of the bears to the Central Park Zoo. After the trip, Chinese officials asked for a letter from the mayor or governor supporting her plan, Maloney said Sunday morning on John Catsimatidis’ radio show on AM 970.

"The mayor was not interested," Maloney said.

She then approached Gov. Cuomo who sent a letter earlier this month in support of bringing the pandas to the Big Apple, she said. She is now awaiting a response from Chinese officials.

According to the New York Post, though, a city official said that neither the Central Park Zoo nor Bronx Zoo were interested in housing the pandas, which are "incredlibly expensive to maintain."

Maloney also took the opportunity to criticize de Blasio’s plan to ban horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, an issue that is being reviewed by the City Council.

"He doesn't like horses, and, I guess, he doesn't like pandas," she said. "I don't understand why he's opposed. I really do not."

A spokeswoman from the mayor's office said regarding Maloney's pandas there were "more pressing concerns for New York City at the moment."

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