Giant Panda Xiao Liwu Celebrates 4th Birthday at Zoo - NBC 7 San Diego

Giant Panda Xiao Liwu Celebrates 4th Birthday at Zoo

Xiao Liwu is the sixth cub born to mother Bai Yun and the fifth cub for father Gao Gao

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Art of the Getaway
    Photo taken on July 29, 2016 by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo

    Giant panda Xiao Liwu celebrated his fourth birthday Friday with gift boxes, treats and an ice cake flavored with fruits and vegetables.

    Mr. Wu, as he is known to his keepers and fans, is the sixth cub born to mother Bai Yun.

    Dozens of zoo visitors watched his party, and it was available on the Zoo’s online Panda Cam worldwide.

    "When he came out on exhibit he decided he was going to check out his presents first," senior keeper Jennifer Becerra said. "Every kid loves their presents. He decided to walk around the exhibit and then he eventually discovered his ice cake."

    The cake had strawberry-kiwi, fruit punch drink, pureed yams, carrots, apples and honey, and was topped with apples and four bamboo sticks that resemble candles.

    "Mr. Wu is now four years old, which is an amazing age for any of the giant pandas. It’s just before sexual reproduction, but he had such a growth spurt in this last year and he is about 160 pounds now. He’s about the same size as his father Gao Gao and he’s still an amazing, patient bear that loves to train for his keepers."

    His birthday gifts were part of the enrichment that pandas get on a regular basis to keep them active and stimulated and encourage natural behaviors like foraging.