Giant panda twins celebrate their third birthday in Belgium – Xinhua

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Giant panda twins “Bao Di” (L) and “Bao Mei” enjoy their birthday meal at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, Belgium, on Aug. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

The panda twins celebrated their third birthday by eating a “cake” in front of the amused crowd.

BRUSSELS, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — A birthday ceremony was held on Saturday for Bao Di and Bao Mei, the panda twins born in 2019 in Belgium, a private zoo and botanical garden located in Brugelette, Hainaut province in Belgium.

The panda twins celebrated their third birthday by eating a “cake” in front of the amused crowd.

At the ceremony hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Belgium and the zoo, Ambassador Cao Zhongming thanked Pairi Daiza founder Eric Domb and the entire staff for their hard work in taking care of the zoo’s five giant pandas. .

“Bao Di and Bao Mei have grown strong and tall, playful and lively, and they have brought joy and memories to Belgian audiences, especially children,” he said.

“Children here can become little ambassadors of China-Belgium relations and make their own contribution as they grow up to the development of friendly cooperation between the two countries,” he noted.

Giant panda twins “Bao Di” (L) and “Bao Mei” enjoy their birthday meal at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, Belgium, on Aug. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

About a hundred guests and visitors attended the event. In the afternoon, the children took part in creative workshops where they painted on handmade panda figurines and learned traditional Chinese calligraphy.

Bao Mei and Bao Di’s parents, Xing Hui and Hao Hao, arrived in Belgium in 2014 on loan from China. According to Tommy Leclercq, governor of the province of Hainaut, their arrival aroused “wonder” on the part of visitors. And Pairi Daiza has become over the years a precious destination, not only for Belgians, but for so many others.

Bao Mei and Bao Di were born on August 8, 2019, attracting thousands of visitors to the zoo every day. This popularity is helped by the fact that twins are both male and female, which is rare as litters are usually exclusively male or female.

Giant panda “Bao Di” eats his birthday meal at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, Belgium, on Aug. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

The convention that governs the presence of pandas in Belgium provides that all the couple’s children must be sent back to China at the age of four in order to better safeguard the species of giant pandas.

Tian Bao, the very first giant panda born to Xing Hui and Hao Hao in 2016, still remains at the zoo under an agreement reached earlier this year between the zoo and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), allowing the giant panda to stay at the zoo in 2022.

Tian Bao’s return process to China has been delayed by COVID-19 restrictions. Pairi Daiza has thus become one of the few animal zoos outside of China that has five giant pandas at the same time.

Visitors watch giant panda twins “Bao Di” (L) and “Bao Mei” have their birthday meal at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, Belgium, Aug. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

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