Watch as giant pandas celebrate their birthday with a special treat

Tian tian cropped

Edinburgh's giant pandas mark their birthday with some mega-lols (lollies, that is)

Graham Martin's photo

15th August 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Edinburgh’s most famous black and white duo, Yang Guang and Tian Tian, are celebrating their birthdays this month.

The giant pandas both turn 13 and to celebrate, their keepers have treated them to a selection of tasty ice lollies (see below).

The endangered giant pandas thoroughly enjoyed their treats, which were made from mushed up apple and water plus their favourite item of food – bamboo – which was used as a popsicle stick. The bears immediately got their paws on the panda-sicles and whilst neatly holding the bamboo stick, slowly started to nibble on the novel frozen treat.

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Yang Guang and Tian Tian really enjoyed their frozen treats. Tian Tian preferred to enjoy her ice lolly outside, whilst Yang Guang wanted to eat his lolly inside instead. It was the very first time that we tried making panda-friendly ice lollies, but the keepers were delighted to see the two pandas picking up the lollies and enjoying them.  

"Whilst pandas are known for having a predominantly bamboo-based diet, they do also enjoy special treats of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as honey and specially made panda cake. 

“The ice lollies are a fantastic form of enrichment, with the cold ice providing a sensory stimulation. Enrichment forms an important part of our animals’ care and we always ensure we provide the animals with a wide and varying enrichment programme.”

The two pandas have celebrated their previous birthdays at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo with special panda cakes and beautiful handmade bamboo number structures as well as a tiered ice cake.