18 panda cubs celebrate first birthday in China

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CHINA (CBS NEWSPATH) — A birthday party for 18 cubs took place in a panda kindergarten on Thursday.

All of the pandas that turned a year old were born between June and September 2018.

Most of them were born in Shenshuping and raised at China’s Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

Staff of the research center prepared a fancy fruit birthday cake for the panda cubs.

Fans were also invited to attend the birthday party.

“I’ve only seen big, adult pandas before while I was at the Ocean Park. Now I’m seeing the panda cubs, I find them so cute. It’s great to see the cute side of pandas,” said Huang Chih Ch’ing, a visitor from Hong Kong.

There are nine male and nine female cubs, including three pairs of twins.

The cubs are active and usually play together. They compete with each other for food, climb trees, or play with toys.

The cubs who are entering the teething stage mostly rely on milk.

They do, however, supplement their diet with two meals of tender bamboo shoot tips each day, which allows them to grind their newly discovered adult teeth.

“I’ve seen pandas so many times in Chengdu, but this is the first time I see so many pandas together. It’s my first time seeing so many panda babies. I’m very excited and very happy. They’re our national treasures,” said Tang Ting Zhao, another visitor from Chengdu.

Currently the growth indicators for the 18 panda cubs are within the normal range, which shows they are in good health.

In 2018, 31 panda babies, 15 females and 16 males, were born in the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

So far, the captive population of giant pandas in the center has reached 285, which accounts for about 60 percent of the total giant panda population.

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