World's second-oldest panda celebrates 35th birthday

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Baku, November 30, AZERTAC

Basi, the world's second-oldest panda, celebrated her 35th birthday on Saturday in Fuzhou, east China's Fujian Province, according to BBC. The panda, who is more than 100 in human years, became famous across China when she was chosen as the prototype for Pan Pan, the mascot of the Beijing Asian Games in 1990.

Many foreigners knew Basi from her visit to the San Diego Zoo in the US in 1987. Her performance attracted around 2.5 million visitors during her six-month there.

The birthday party began after she finished routine exercises and health check. A specially-made cake was offered to Basi, which she enjoyed very much.

More than 300 people from home and abroad came to wish her a happy birthday on Saturday. They brought all kinds of presents for her, including toys and paintings.

Birthday celebrations have been ongoing since May, featuring activities to raise public awareness on panda conservation. A one-minute animation featuring Basi also began a 10-day showing on a screen in New York's Times Square on 21 September.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. According to official data, by the end of 2013 there were 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild, mostly in southwest China, and 375 are in captivity.

The average lifespan of wild pandas is 15 years, while those in captivity usually live longer due to better nutrition and living conditions.

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