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France's first baby panda celebrates first birthday

Guillaume Souvant, AFP | A member of staff carries panda cub Yuan Meng towards his birthday cake inside his enclosure at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France, on August 4, 2018.

France’s first baby panda celebrates his one-year anniversary Saturday with a birthday cake composed of bamboo, honey, apples, oranges, strawberries and lemons.

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The panda named Yuan Meng weighs about 30 kilograms (66 pounds), and has recently started eating bamboo while still suckling milk from mother panda Huan Huan.

Panda Huan Huan samples the birthday cake of her cub Yuan Meng inside their enclosure at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France on August 4, 2018.
Panda Huan Huan samples the birthday cake of her cub Yuan Meng inside their enclosure at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France on August 4, 2018. Guillaume Souvant, AFP

For the occasion the Beauval Zoo south of Paris is open for free to all visitors born on August 4.

Yuan Meng’s mother and father are at Beauval on a 10-year loan from China aimed at highlighting a good relationship with France.

In Europe, Austria, Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Finland currently have giant pandas.

>> Access Asia: The “soft power” of the panda

French first lady Brigitte Macron, considered the panda’s “godmother,” was not attending Saturday’s celebration. She already went to see the baby panda twice.

(AP)

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