05 November 2005

Good news Saturday

This week's instalment of Good News Saturday comes from the Berlin Zoo, where the male panda Bao Bao (which means "Sweetheart" or "Little Treasure") celebrated the 25th anniversary of his arrival.

Bao Bao received a cake to mark the occasion, though judging by the photo, he was more interested in his bamboo shoots instead. Bao Bao came to Berlin in 1980 along with the female panda Tjen Tjen, as a gift from then German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. He has been in good health ever since. Herr Störmer, who has been Bao Bao's keeper for some 24 years, describes him as "a reliable buddy."

Bao Bao is considered something of a ladies' man. In 1991, he was shipped to London in the hope that he would mate with Ming Ming. He proved so keen, and threw himself on his new partner with such relish that keepers had to separate the two with the assistance of a fire extinguisher to quell Bao Bao's inferno of lust.

Well done Bao Bao, and congratulations on your quarter century as a "Berliner".

[Source: Der Tagesspiegel: Bilder der Woche]