Happy First Birthday, Mei Lan!

Atlanta zoo hosts party with local fans and Chinese dignitaries
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2007 3:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Atlanta's Panda cub Mei Lan celebrated her first birthday yesterday, and her keepers invited local fans and Chinese dignitaries to her party. The guest of honor napped through the hoopla, even when the zoo president called the big day "one of the most significant" in the zoo's 118-year history. The festivities drew birthday wishes from as far away as London.

"The spirit of Atlanta's beautiful peach shines like a beacon of light across the ocean," wrote one well-wisher from England. "She's my baby," said an Atlanta man in explaining why he'd taken the day off from work. "I suppose for anybody in Atlanta, she's their baby, too." (Read more panda stories.)