The world's only surviving panda triplets celebrated their first birthday in a zoo in southern China. More than 4,000 panda fans and media from around the world gathered at Changlong zoo in Guangdong province to witness the birthday party for the panda triplets, Meng Meng, Shuai Shuai and Ku Ku on Thursday.
The triplets enjoyed a special cake made of bamboo and fruit while their fans sang "Happy Birthday" to them, state run-Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The triplets born at Chime Long Safari Park are the fourth set of panda triplets ever recorded.
In all previous instances, at least one of the triplets died from physical defects or low body weight. After their birth, panda experts from Sichuan Province were invited to Guangzhou to help care for the cubs. Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered species.
Statistics from the State Forestry Administration show about 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while about 300 are held in captivity in zoos worldwide. Most giant pandas in captivity are not good breeders. Only 24% of females in captivity give birth, posing a serious threat to the survival of the species.