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Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s River Safari Celebrates Giant Pandas’ Birthdays With Honey-Flavored Ice Cakes

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Kai Kai and Jia Jia enjoying their honey-flavoured ice cakes. In a recent update to their Red List of Threatened Species, giant pandas were downgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ from ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Kai Kai and Jia Jia enjoying their honey-flavoured ice cakes. In a recent update to their Red List of Threatened Species, giant pandas were downgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ from ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s River Safari Celebrates Giant Pandas’ Birthdays With Honey-Flavored Ice Cakes

To celebrate giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s ninth and eight birthdays, keepers at the River Safari of Wildlife Reserves Singapore recently threw an extraordinary birthday bash – by giving them a special treat: honey-flavored ice cakes.

Nor Faizah Bt Abdul Aziz, 23, Giant Panda Junior Keeper, and Halim Ali, 49, Assistant Curator, putting the final touches on Kai Kai’s cake.
Nor Faizah Bt Abdul Aziz, 23, Junior Keeper of Giant Panda, and Halim Ali, 49, Assistant Curator, putting the final touches on Kai Kai’s cake.

Female panda Jia Jia just turned eight years old on Sept. 3 while Male panda Kai Kai celebrated his ninth birthday on Sept. 6. Their birthdays also marked the anniversary of their arrival in the place on Sept. 6, 2012.


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Ice Cakes for Giant Panda

It is worth mentioning that these cakes come packed with apple and carrot slices that are actually the two pandas’ favorites.  Weighing a collective 7 kg., it actually took four days for the keepers to finish these treats.

Ivan Ang, 26, Junior Keeper, gently placing sliced carrots on Jia Jia’s cake. Giant pandas consume up to 20kg of bamboo daily, and Kai Kai and Jia Jia also enjoy fruits, vegetables and high fibre biscuits. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Ivan Ang, 26, Junior Keeper, gently placing sliced carrots on Jia Jia’s cake. Giant pandas consume up to 20kg of bamboo daily, and Kai Kai and Jia Jia also enjoy fruits, vegetables and high fibre biscuits. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Now Endangered

These two giant pandas landed in the River Safari four years ago, thanks to a 10-year loan from China. Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has marked giant pandas in its Red List of Threatened Species as “Endangered” – downgraded from “Vulnerable”.

Earlier this year, specifically in April, the two already entered their second mating season. Unfortunately, though, both artificial insemination and natural mating had been ineffective. In fact, after Jia Jia displayed pseudo-pregnancy behavior for weeks, she has gradually returned to normalcy.

Keepers and vet, though, remain hopeful that there will be a Singapore panda cub in the future. This is mainly because the female giant panda is said to be at young age. They said they will keep on employing an array of conservation breeding techniques that were already proved to be successful in other zoos.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia enjoying their honey-flavoured ice cakes. In a recent update to their Red List of Threatened Species, giant pandas were downgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ from ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Kai Kai and Jia Jia enjoying their honey-flavoured ice cakes. In a recent update to their Red List of Threatened Species, giant pandas were downgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ from ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

River-Themed Wildlife Park

For those who are unaware, River Safari, deemed as among the newest added park to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, is the only river-themed wildlife park in Asia. This place features a multitude of freshwater flora and fauna and a vast number of animal species.

Seated near Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, River Safari is well-renowned as a home to a pair of giant pandas.

Kai Kai enjoying his ice cake
Kai Kai enjoying his ice cake

It is interesting to note that the existence of Jia Jia and Kai Kai in the park is a result of the collaboration between Wildlife Reserves Singapore and China Wildlife Conservation Association.

If you wish to know more about River Safari, you can head over to riversafari.com.sg.

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