Tai Shan Turns 4

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 4:05 PM CDT
Tai Shan licks his birthday cake on his fourth birthday today at the zoo in Washington. He is considered a teenager in "bear years."   (AP Photo/Smithsonian National Zoo, Mehgan Murphy)
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(Newser) – Tai Shan, the giant panda who captivated the world as a cub, turned 4 today and celebrated with a huge birthday cake only an animal could love. The three-tiered concoction was a frozen medley of water, beet juice, shredded beets, and bamboo, WTOP reports. Tai Shan, who is now considered a teenager in "bear years," is scheduled to head to China in 2010 under the terms of the breeding program that brought his parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, to the US from their native land.