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Famous panda turns 35 years old

CCTV.com

11-29-2015 06:20 BJT

35 years young. Basi is certainly the most popular giant panda in China and possibly even in the whole world. Known to millions of Chinese as Pan Pan, she was the mascot of the 11th Asian Games in Beijing in 1990.

Many foreigners know her by her visit to the United States in 1987. During her six-months in San Diego Zoo, she attracted around 2.5 million visitors.

This legendary panda celebrated her 35th birthday on Saturday in Fuzhou, east China's Fujian Province.

The photo taken on on Nov. 28, 2015 shows giant panda Basi eating a cake at the panda research and exchange center in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China

The photo taken on on Nov. 28, 2015 shows giant panda Basi eating a cake at the panda research and exchange center in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province. Basi celebrated her 35th birthday on Nov. 28, 2015, which roughly equals 130 years in human age. Basi is currently the oldest living panda so far in the world. Basi in 1987 visited the U.S. San Diego Zoo for shows. She attracted around 2.5 million visitors during her six-month stay in the United States and amazed many visitors by her acrobatic performances. In 1990, she was chosen as the prototype for Pan Pan, the mascot for the Beijing Asian Games. (Xinhua/Zhang Guojun)

More than 300 people from home and abroad came to wish her happy birthday. They brought her all kinds of presents, including toys, and paintings. Many pinned their best wishes on a wishing tree at the Fuzhou Giant Panda Center.

"I wish Basi happiness everyday. I hope she can eat more bamboo, and stay healthy forever."

"I wish the Panda a healthy life," visitors said.

Turing 35 may not be a big deal for humans but it is for a panda. The average lifespan of giant pandas bred in captivity is around 20 and even less for those in the wild. But thanks to better nutrition and living conditions, Basi has been carefully looked after and is still in good health.
 
"An age of 20 for giant pandas is the equivalent of 80 for human beings, the ratio is about one to four. So we can scientifically say Basi would be more than 100 in human years," said Chen Yucun, director of Fuzhou Giant Panda Center.

Basi is now the second oldest panda on the planet. Age may have caught up with her, but that won't stop her from tucking in to her birthday cake.

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