Cheers to You, Bai Yun! San Diego Zoo Giant Panda Matriarch Turns 22

Posted at 9:40 pm September 7, 2013 by PR

SEPT. 7, 2013
                   PUBLIC RELATIONS


San Diego Zoo Giant Panda Matriarch Turns 22
     Bai Yun (pronounced by yoon), a giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, celebrates her 22nd birthday by sifting through the ice “confetti” on her birthday cake in search of sliced apples, her favorite treat.
     Panda lovers filled the Zoo’s Panda Trek this morning to watch the beloved bear as she enjoyed her five-foot tall, 125-pound cake, made for Bai Yun by the Zoo’s nutritional services team. The cake, which took four weeks to build, was made of water frozen into layers and bamboo pieces were used to support the tiers. The elaborate creation featured toasting glasses and ice pieces cut into the number 22, and was decorated with bamboo leaves, sliced apples, carrots, and “icing” made of steamed yams.
     Bai Yun arrived at the San Diego Zoo in September 1996 on loan from China. Since her arrival at the Zoo, she has proven to be a wonderful ambassador for her species, helping researchers and keepers learn about panda behavior, pregnancy and birth, and maternal care. She has given birth to six cubs: Hua Mei in 1999, Mei Sheng in 2003, Su Lin in 2005, Zhen Zhen in 2007, Yun Zi in 2009, and Xiao Liwu in 2012. Bai Yuns own birth in 1991 was unique as well: it marked the first successful birth of a giant panda at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in China.

Photo taken on Sept. 7, 2013, by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo.


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