World’s Oldest Panda Celebrates Birthday by ‘Aging Gracefully, Just Like Your Grandma’

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Tune in next week on Food Network to see how you too can impress friends with a giant birthday cake made out of cocktail mixers. Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Jia Jia, a giant panda living at an animal theme park in Hong Kong, turned 37 today.

Her presents included two Guinness World Records — she is the oldest giant panda to ever live in captivity and the oldest giant panda currently in captivity — and a “cake” that was actually just a big block of ice flavored with grenadine and mint syrup so her old taste buds would notice it was a treat. There was a surprise apple in the center of the ice, and she munched on bamboo sticks as an appetizer. 

She took a break from eating to show off her skills for any companies interested in hiring a spokesperson or model for giant-block-of-ice-cake ads. 

Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ

The humans caring for her — who did not win any medals that day or become centenarians in panda years — probably made Jia Jia jealous by eating a far superior ice-cream cake shaped like a panda. 

The average life expectancy for a panda is 25 years. The panda Jia Jia beat in the record books, Du Du, died in 1999. 

A veterinarian told The Guardian that Jia Jia, who suffers from high blood pressure, cataracts, and has to take a fiber supplement, “is aging gracefully, just like your grandma.” According to CNN, her days are spent doing “small puzzles, climbing up and down a hill, and rolling around with toys.” Based on footage of Bao Bao, a much younger panda at the National Zoo, she has probably adhered to the same strict schedule of rolling around and climbing hills for the past 37 years.

World’s Oldest Panda Celebrates 37th Birthday