Zoo Negara Celebrates Panda Sheng Yi's 2nd Birthday By Surprising Her With Cake & Presents

The celebration is expected to be Sheng Yi's final birthday in Malaysia before moving back to China.

Cover image via Zhu Wei/Xinhua

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Just like that, Malaysian-born panda Sheng Yi is officially two years old

As the third offspring of the Chinese pandas Liang Liang and Xing Xing, who were sent to Malaysia back in 2014 as a symbol of bilateral diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia, Sheng Yi's name bears the meaning of "peacefulness and friendship".

With her name meant to indicate a wish for the Malaysian government to strengthen its political ties with China, there's been nothing but love and joy since her entrance into the world.

Sheng Yi having a snack at Zoo Negara in 2022.

Image via Xinhua/Global Times

To commemorate the festivities, the panda caretakers at the National Zoo of Malaysia (Zoo Negara) threw together a special treat for Sheng Yi on her birthday a few days ago, 31 May

With the scorching hot weather taking over the past few weeks, the caretakers curated a specially designed shaved ice cake for the cub, which was made entirely of fruits and ice.

Decorated with bamboo shoots and flowers, some of the fruits seen along the dessert included apples, dragon fruit, watermelon, papayas, and grapes.

The caretakers posing with the cake they prepared for Sheng Yi in Zoo Negara.

Image via Zhu Wei/Xinhua

Aside from that, the caretakers also wrapped some presents for Sheng Yi to open, which included toys in the form of kites and small ball toys. 

The enclosure was also decorated with balloons for the two-year-old, including a special panda balloon.

Some of the decorations used during Sheng Yi's birthday celebration.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Many Malaysians gathered around her enclosure to wait for the star of the show to make her grand appearance.

After walking into her surprise, Sheng Yi was quick to open her presents and dive into her ice cake.

Image via Sin Chew Daily
Image via Zhu Wei/Xinhua
Image via Zhu Wei/Xinhua
Image via Zhu Wei/Xinhua

According to reports, Sheng Yi and her older sibling, Yi Yi, were supposed to return to China in May, though last-minute changes have delayed their travels

Originally, Sheng Yi's parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, were loaned to Malaysia by the Chinese government back in 2014, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the established diplomatic relations between the two nations. 

To date, Xing Xing and Liang Liang have had three cubs — Nuan Nuan, who was born in 2015 and subsequently was returned to China in 2017; Yi Yi, who was born in 2018; and Sheng Yi, who was born in 2021. The agreement stipulated that each giant panda cub needed to be sent back to China once they reached 24 months of age and no more than four years old.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed Yi Yi's return. In a report by New Straits Times, director of the Giant Panda Conservation Centre, Dr Mat Naim Ramli, stated that Malaysia and China have yet to agree on a date for Sheng Yi and Yi Yi's homecoming.

According to the director, Zoo Negara and the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry will proceed with the preparations once China confirms a date.

Sheng Yi and Yi Yi in Zoo Negara.

Image via The Malaysian Reserve/Bernama

Whichever circumstance it is, this may be Sheng Yi's final birthday celebration in Malaysia if plans carry on as expected.

Happy Birthday, Sheng Yi! You're an absolute cutie.

Sheng Yi in Zoo Negara.

Image via Zhu Wei/Xin Hua

Check out this clip from Zoo Negara's official TikTok page on Sheng Yi's birthday festivities:

Photos of these cute pandas celebrating their first birthday in China will have your hearts melting:

This adorable panda was trying to escape the Zoo Negara enclosure, and didn't give up nor relent in its endeavour:

Here are some other #cuteanimals that will absolutely make your day:

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