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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s charismatic giant panda Bei Bei, who has won over millions of hearts with his playful behavior and bold personality, turned three on August 22, 2018. To celebrate the occasion, the Zoo’s youngest panda bear was treated to a special enrichment painting session, gifted a new toy, and, best of all, given a massive ice cake, complete with the number 3, to feast on all by himself!
Made by the Zoo’s department of nutrition sciences, the delicious cake contained all of Bei Bei’s favorite foods. Its two tiers were crafted from a blend of diluted apple, cranberry, and grape juice and leaf-eater biscuit puree. The treat was filled and decorated with apples, pears, bananas, shredded carrots, cooked sweet potatoes, and sugarcane stalks. Even the giant decorative number three, made using diluted apple juice and leaf-eater biscuit puree, was entirely edible! Judging from the video, Bei Bei sure enjoyed his special day.
Unfortunately, Bei Bei’s fans will only get to enjoy one more birthday with the adorable panda, whose name means “precious treasure,” in Mandarin. That’s because once he turns four, just like his older siblings, Bao Bao and Tai Shaun, Bei Bei will be sent to the giant panda breeding program at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. Hopefully, Bei Bei will be able to add to the dwindling giant panda population by producing an offspring or two.