Giant panda marks landmark 30th birthday in Japan

NHK -- Sep 14
A giant panda at a zoo in western Japan marked a landmark birthday this week turning 30 years old, or 90 in human years.

Eimei is not the oldest giant panda in the world, but Wakayama Prefecture's Adventure World says he is the oldest to have naturally fathered cubs while in captivity -- a feat he's accomplished sixteen times.

In honor of his special day, zookeepers gave the panda ice blocks that spelled out 'Happy Birthday.' But Eimei quickly pushed them aside to reveal his present: bamboo, his favorite treat.

"I am deeply moved and very happy that Eimei turned 30 years old," said zookeeper Shinagawa Yuka.

"We hope he will continue to live in good health for a long time."

Born in Beijing, Eimei has been in Japan since 1994.

Eimei's minders say he may be getting on in years, but he still has quite the appetite, and they expect he'll keep breaking records for quite some time.

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