First Taiwan-born panda cub celebrates birthday

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-07 00:35:56|Editor: yan
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TAIPEI, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A birthday party was held Thursday at Taipei Zoo as Yuan Zai, the first panda cub born in Taiwan turned four.

Numerous visitors and panda lovers waited in a long queue before the zoo opened to public at 9 a.m., hoping to send their best wishes to the female cub.

Sixty members from a local panda lovers' club joined the celebration by wearing T-shirts printed with images of "Yuan Zai". They handed out panda-shaped stickers and notebooks to visitors to mark the day.

"Our club has more than 1,000 members and we have taken turns to visit Yuan Zai since she was born," Chou Yu-Ru, a member of the club said. "We are so happy to see how she has grown from a little pink meatball."

Keepers prepared a birthday cake decorated with the panda's favorite food including bamboo shoots, pineapple, grapes and carrots.

Wong Yi-Man, chief of the Panda House at Taipei Zoo, said Yuan Zai is doing well and shows signs of maturity.

"We will work with the giant panda breeding center in Sichuan to find Yuan Zai a suitable mate when she is mature enough," Wong said, explaining six and twelve are the pandas prime years of reproduction.

Born on July 6, 2013, Yuan Zai was the first baby of giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, who were gifted to Taiwan by Chinese mainland in 2008.

The panda family are major attractions at Taipei Zoo. Around 8,000 to 10,000 people visit the pandas each day during holidays.