The Chinese giant panda Tian Tian enjoys its ice lolly at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, Britain, Aug. 11, 2016. The Chinese giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian living at Edinburgh Zoo Thursday were treated with a selection of tasty ice lollies for their upcoming birthday celebration. Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived at the Zoo on Dec. 4, 2011 from China for a 10-year exchange program. Both of them will turn 13 years old this month. (Xinhua/Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)/Katie Paton)
EDINBURGH, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian living at Edinburgh Zoo Thursday were treated with a selection of tasty ice lollies for their upcoming birthday celebration.
Born on Aug. 14 and Aug. 24 respectively and both turning 13 years old this month, Yang Guang and Tian Tian thoroughly enjoyed their treats, which were made from mushed up apple and water plus their favourite item of food bamboo used as a popsicle stick, said the press release from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) that owns the Zoo.
The pandas immediately got their paws on the panda-sicles and whilst neatly holding the bamboo stick, slowly started to nibble on the novel frozen treat, it added.
"Yang Guang and Tian Tian really enjoyed their frozen treats. Tian Tian preferred to enjoy her ice lolly outside, whilst Yang Guang wanted to eat his lolly inside instead. It was the very first time that we tried making panda-friendly ice lollies, but the keepers were delighted to see the two pandas picking up the lollies and enjoying them. Whilst pandas are known for having a predominantly bamboo-based diet, they do also enjoy special treats of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as honey and specially made panda cake,"said Darren McGarry, Head of Living Collections at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.
"The ice lollies are a fantastic form of enrichment, with the cold ice providing a sensory stimulation. Enrichment forms an important part of our animals' care and we always ensure we provide the animals with a wide and varying enrichment program." he added.
The two pandas have celebrated their previous birthdays at the Edinburgh Zoo with special panda cakes and beautiful handmade bamboo number structures as well as a tiered ice cake.
Whilst recent survey estimates show that wild giant panda populations are increasing, there is still a long way to go to ensure the future survival of the endangered iconic species, said the press release.
The RZSS is currently facilitating 40 giant panda-related research projects worldwide, through funding, part-funding and collaborations, it added.
Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived at the Zoo on Dec. 4, 2011 from China for a 10-year exchange program.