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Vienna zoo's baby panda celebrates first birthday

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Fu Bao inside one of his birthday packages. Photo: APA/Schlager
15:40 CEST+02:00
Schönbrunn Zoo's baby panda Fu Bao has celebrated his first birthday - by gobbling up his presents of sweet potatoes and carrots, and even clambering into one of the packages.

Fu Bao slept in until 1pm, at which point his keepers delivered his birthday presents. His mother Yang Yang helped herself to a few snacks too.

When he was born Fu Bao weighed as much as a bar of chocolate - now he is 20 kg.

Like his older brothers Fu Bao is expected to leave the Vienna zoo when he is around two years old - and return to China. This is the age when pandas normally leave their mothers in the wild.

Schönbrunn is the only zoo in Europe to have bred and reared Giant Panda cubs naturally. Most zoos trying to breed pandas rely on artificial insemination, as captive pandas often lose interest in mating. 

China retains ownership of all the Giant Pandas around the world, which are selectively loaned to other countries. Once cubs reach four years of age, they have to be returned to China. 

Giant Pandas are a highly endangered species. There are now only around 1,600 animals living in the south west of China.

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