What’s cuter than a human toddler attacking cake on her first birthday? A panda doing the same thing!
A rambunctious panda bear cub celebrates a rare first birthday with a special cake and traditional Chinese gifts at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Aug 23. Bao Bao, a 20kg female, is only the second panda in the zoo’s history to live a full year, as the endangered species produce tiny and delicate offspring that are often unable to survive infancy, says zoo spokeswoman Devon Murphy.
The National Zoo has studied pandas since 1972, and has seen the birth of seven cubs. Most of the world’s 1,600 giant wild pandas live in bamboo forests in central China where their fate remains uncertain because of rampant habitat loss.
“Today, we are celebrating one of our biggest conservation successes,” Dennis Kelly, director of the National Zoo, says in a statement. “It’s been amazing for us, our members and all of Washington, DC, to watch Bao Bao thrive and grow.”