This morning, Asia Trail keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) in Washington, D.C., celebrated giant panda Mei Xiang’s (may-SHONG) 25th birthday at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. At 9 a.m., animal care staff presented her with a special panda-friendly fruitsicle cake made by the Zoo’s Department of Nutrition Science. Commissary keepers crafted the multi-tiered cake and “25” topper using frozen diluted apple juice. Mashed sweet potatoes, mashed carrots, apple slices and bamboo added a decorative flair to the festive treat. Virtual visitors tuned in to NZCBI’s Giant Panda Cam, sponsored by Boeing, to watch Mei Xiang enjoy her birthday festivities.
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Photo credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute