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Saturday morning, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute celebrated giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s (SHIAU-chi-ji) first birthday with a specially tailored fruitsicle cake. Mother Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and father Tian Tian (tYEN-tYEN) also enjoyed fruitsicle cakes in honor of their son’s birthday. The public watched the pandas enjoy their cakes live on the Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam.

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji (foreground) and Mei Xiang (background) enjoy a panda-friendly fruitsicle cake in honor of Xiao Qi Ji’s first birthday.

When Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji entered their outdoor habitat at 7:30 a.m., they approached Mei Xiang’s cake first. The base of the cake and heart topper was made of frozen diluted apple juice. It was decorated with sweet potato, apple, carrot, pear, sugar cane, banana, and bamboo.

Around 8:15 a.m., they walked over to Xiao Qi Ji’s cake, which was adorned with a giant number 1 on top. The base of the cake was made of frozen diluted grape juice and decorated with sweet potato, apple, carrot, pear, sugar cane, banana, and bamboo.


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