Wham, bamboo, thank you, ma’am

Pictures by: 
Ariffin Jamar
Report by: 
Azim Azman

It was a colourful party mostly in black and white at the River Safari Singapore on Friday. The invite-only event was to celebrate the birthdays of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, and the first anniversary of their arrival in Singapore.

Jia Jia’s birthday was on Sept 3 and Kai Kai’s will be next Saturday. The highlight was when the pandas, who are on a 10-year loan from the China Wildlife Conservation Association, were presented with special bamboo treats to feast on.

These treats were prepared by River Safari staff and 10 specially chosen Panda Party Planners. The planners were winners of a contest in which the contestants explained why they would make the perfect Panda Party Planner.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the company that runs the River Safari attraction, planted four species of bamboo around the zoo as well as in a separate Lim Chu Kang farm for the pandas. With some help from the staff, the party planners were shown how to make the bamboo treats
look unique.

Five-year-old Kai Kai’s treat, which was shaped like a cake, took four Panda Party Planners to carry into the enclosure. Kai Kai devoured it without ceremony, much to the delight of the guests. Jia Jia, the shy female, got a bamboo treat shaped like a toy chime. But she was less ravenous than her male counterpart. She took only a couple of bites before losing interest, idly exploring her enclosure instead. She then retreated to the privacy of her cave.

Here are some pictures from the event.

The article related to these pictures was first published in The New Paper on Sunday on September 8, 2013.