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'Precious' reaches her first birthday

[ 2014-08-25 10:50] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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The National Zoo in Washington threw a party on Saturday in honor of the first birthday of panda cub Bao Bao.

To celebrate, the cub got a cake made from frozen fruit juice and other treats like pears and apples. Bao Bao is only the second panda born at the zoo to survive her first birthday.

The cub's only sibling, brother Tai Shan, was born in 2005 and returned to China in 2010. Panda keeper Nicole MacCorkle said that as a baby, Bao Bao has been different from her brother, including being a little more standoffish with keepers.

In the past year she has grown from a wriggling pink newborn, a little bigger than a stick of butter, to a 20-kg black and white bundle who loves to sleep in trees.

She's also learned behaviors that help keepers monitor her health, including getting on a scale and standing up when asked. Lately she’s “getting really good” and responding when her name is called, MacCorkel said, and is exploring her yard a little more.

"She's really becoming an independent bear," MacCorkle said.

The next year will bring even more changes. Bao Bao will stop drinking her mother's milk and, like wild pandas of the same age, at between a year and a half and 2 years old, she'll start living independently in her own enclosure

The National Zoo is one of only four zoos in the United States that have pandas, which are on loan from China. The zoo's first pair of pandas were gifts from China following President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to the country.

The zoo's current adult pandas - Bao Bao's mother, Mei Xiang, and father, Tian Tian -arrived in 2000.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

'Precious' reaches her first birthday

About the broadcaster:

'Precious' reaches her first birthday

Anne Ruisi is an editor at China Daily online with more than 30 years of experience as a newspaper editor and reporter. She has worked at newspapers in the U.S., including The Birmingham News in Alabama and City Newspaper of Rochester, N.Y.