Taiwan, mainland fans celebrate Taipei-born panda's birthday

2020-07-06 Xinhua

Giant panda Yuan Zai enjoys its special birthday cake at the Taipei Zoo in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 6, 2020. Yuan Zai, the female cub of giant panda Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan as goodwill gifts to Taiwan by the Chinese mainland, celebrated its seventh birthday in Taipei on Monday. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

Special cakes, a cheerful party and best wishes from loyal fans across the Taiwan Strait -- the Taipei-born giant panda Yuanzai celebrated her seventh birthday Monday, a week after getting a little sister.

Her keepers at the Taipei Zoo offered special desserts to Yuanzai, which took the shape of seven most popular snacks in Taiwan and were made out of carrots, fruits and steamed corn bread, all favorites of the panda.

The zoo invited around 100 panda fans to attend the "birthday party." To join the bash, Kao Shih-cheng, a Taipei resident, managed to swap shifts with his colleagues and prepared a large birthday card a week ago.

"I have been coming to the zoo to celebrate Yuanzai's birthday for three years. This year is special since she has become an elder sister. I am very much looking forward to her birthday party next year because her little sister may celebrate with her," Kao said.

Yuanzai also received good wishes from the other side of the Strait. At an event held in Sichuan Province, mainland experts, who had helped deliver her, and local panda lovers extended their best regards via an online chat platform.

Yuanzai is the offspring of two giant pandas, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, sent to the Taipei Zoo from the Chinese mainland in 2008. Yuan Yuan gave birth to Yuanzai in 2013.

Yuanzai has grown from a newborn cub weighing 183 grams to a giant panda of 109.6 kg, according to the zoo.

"We expect her to catch up with her parents in weight very soon," Taipei Zoo spokesman Eric Tsao said at the event. "Since she has reached a proper age to breed, we hope that we can start to find a mate for her."

Yuan Yuan delivered her second cub on June 28 at the Taipei Zoo.

The new cub on Sunday drank 108 grams of milk, taken from her mother, up from 55 grams a day in the beginning and her weight has grown from 186 grams at birth to 314 grams now, Tsao said.

"All indicators show that she has been growing well," he said. 

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