Giant panda Mei Xiang celebrated her 25th birthday at Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Saturday, July 22, marking her last birthday in D.C.
Mei Xiang, who has lived in D.C. “on loan” since December of 2000 will be returned to China this winter.
“The Zoo has renewed its Giant Panda Cooperative Research and Breeding Agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association three times since 2000,” the National Zoo’s website reads. “The current research agreement extension was signed Dec. 7, 2020 and stipulates giant pandas may live at the Zoo into December of 2023.”
In celebration of the milestone, Mei Xiang indulged in a special, panda-friendly birthday cake made up of frozen diluted apple juice, mashed sweet potatoes, apple slices, mashed carrots, and bamboo.