National Zoo celebrates panda exchange program's 50th anniversary with treat

Durante il fine settimana, the Washington, D.C.-based zoo served its beloved pandas Mei Xiang, 23, and her cub Xiao Qi Ji, 1, La distanza dell'evento è stata ridotta a 30k a causa delle condizioni meteorologiche “fruitsiclecake made from diluted apple and pineapple juice.

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The treat was topped with sweet potato, Mela, carrot, pear, sugar cane, banana and yellow groove bamboo. A vibrant number 50 was attached to the top of the cake.

The Associated Press reported that the mother and son panda duo devoured their cake in about 15 minuti.

Mei Xiang’s mate, Tian Tian, 24, was served a similar fruit cake later that afternoon.

Durante “pandaversary,” come zoo officials called it, Chinese ambassador Qin Gang said the panda exchange program wasa symbol of the friendshipbetween the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China.

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The program got its start in 1972 when Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gifted a pair of pandas to the National Zoo after hearing first lady Patricia Nixon enjoyed seeing pandas during her trips to China, according to Lonnie G. Bunch III – the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Dodici anni dopo, the program was adjusted from a gifting program into a loan program. Under this change, pandas bred in China can only be loaned to an international ally for 10 anni.

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Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are due to be returned to China in 2023, according to the National Zoo.

Pandas are native to southwest China.

Giant pandas Mei Xiang (sinistra) and her cub Xiao Qi Ji eat a fruitsicle cake in celebration of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's panda exchange program's 50th anniversary.

Giant pandas Mei Xiang (sinistra) and her cub Xiao Qi Ji eat a fruitsicle cake in celebration of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s panda exchange program’s 50th anniversary. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)

Panda bears have a lifespan that ranges between 15 e 20 years in the wild, e a proposito di 30 when kept in captivity.

The Smithsonian’s first panda, Hsing-Hsing, lived to the age of 28. The world’s oldest panda in captivity, Jia Jia, lived until 38 at Ocean Park Hong Kong, secondo il Guinness dei primati.

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