For a zoo, it’s always an exciting moment when an animal gives birth to a new baby. But it’s extra exciting when that baby is a panda.
Pandas are a vulnerable species and zoos make an effort to help the population with breeding programs, which can be difficult, given that panda mothers have such a short fertility period.
So Zoo Berlin, the oldest zoo in Germany hosting one of the biggest collections of species in the world, had a lot to celebrate last year when one of their female pandas gave birth to not just one, but two panda cubs.
The cubs are named Pit and Paule, and they’re favorites among the zoo’s staff and visitors.
They were born on August 31, 2019, and just celebrated their first birthday… a rare achievement. According to Insider, panda twins rarely both survive because the mother will abandon one of the cubs.
But these two are still growing healthy and strong, currently weighing about 61 pounds. Looking back on their first year the zoo wrote they grew from “delicate pink worms to quite strong bears.”
Von kleinen, zartrosa Würmchen bis zu ganz schön starken Bären: Unser Panda-Nachwuchs feiert morgen seinen 1….Posted by Zoo Berlin on Sunday, August 30, 2020
And when their first birthday arrived this week, Zoo Berlin marked the rare occasion by throwing the twins their own birthday party!
The zoo made the cubs a giant “1” cake, made from beetroot, carrots and bamboo—along with some snow donated from the penguins.
While the pandas didn’t know what to make of their birthday present at first, they quickly enjoyed the cake.
“A little hesitantly, Pit and Paule inspected the cake from all sides and licked the ice carefully,” zoo representative Maximilian Jäger told Insider.
🎉🎉🎉 HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🎉🎉🎉 Rote Beete statt Schokokuchen, geschnitzte Karotte statt Geburtstagkerze und schmackhafter…Posted by Zoo Berlin on Monday, August 31, 2020
The panda twins and their parents are the only pandas in Germany, and will one day be returned to their native China.
Happy birthday to Pit and Paule! With so few pandas in the world we’re always happy to see new cubs grow up strong.
Hope they loved their cake! Share this adorable story!