Pandas celebrate ninth birthday at Taipei Zoo

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 01, 2013 - Page 3

The giant pandas Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓) celebrated their ninth birthday yesterday at the Taipei Zoo, with Tuan Tuan eating his birthday cake alone in the display room, while Yuan Yuan stayed in the nursing cage to take care of their first cub, Yuan Zai (圓仔).

Taipei Zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹) said Tuan Tuan was born on Sept. 1 and Yuan Yuan’s birthday was Aug. 30. The zoo chose to hold the birthday celebration yesterday to celebrate the pair’s birthdays, and prepared two 1.5kg birthday cakes made with corn bread and grapes frozen in ice cubes.

Although Yuan Yuan and the cub have been kept away from the public during the nursing period, Tuan Tuan’s appearance at the display area still drew cheers from the crowd when he walked into the display area. He pushed the cake down to the ground and enjoyed his favorite corn bread.

Tsao said Yuan Yuan ate her favorite grapes first and remembered to take care of the cub at the same time. The zoo also checked Yuan Zai’s physical conditions yesterday and found her ears have developed.

“Yuan Zai is very healthy, and the public will probably be able to meet her in January,” Tsao said.

The two giant pandas were donated to the zoo by China in late 2008 and Yuan Zai is their first cub.

The zoo has posted updates on the panda cub’s progress since she was born on July 6 via photographs and video clips on the Web site