San Diego Zoo celebrates panda’s first birthday

April 4, 2013 by  

On July 29, the San Diego Zoo threw a first birthday party for Xiao Liwu, a panda, complete with a cake made of bamboo, fruit, and ice. Reportedly, the caked weighed 200 pounds and was as intricate as any confectionary baked for humans.

The cake’s two top tiers were supported by bamboo stalks and the ‘frosting’, which was made of mashed sweet potatoes and carrots, gave it an orange color. The bottom tier had the name ‘Mr. Wu’ on it, and a huge numeral ‘1’ graced the top tier.

In addition to the cake, the little panda, who now weighs 42 pounds, received several gifts. These were cardboard boxes, painted to resemble presents, which were scattered on the ground. One was the shape of a giraffe and another was a gorilla, and they were filled with biscuits and hay. There were additional boxes, decorated with a panda motif and strung from the tree in the enclosure, also filled with healthful treats.

Keepers placed the cake in the panda exhibit at about 9:00 am, and then everyone watched as Xiao Liwu and Bai Yun, his mother, discovered the treat. Panda fans watched the party via the San Diego Zoo’s ‘Panda Cam’, which streams live coverage of the enclosure, which is one of the zoo’s most popular. ‘Mr. Wu’ is the fourth giant panda living there.

Zoo officials could work with postcard printing companies to create a special card commemorating the day, and offer it for sale in the gift shops.