Panda Bao Bao celebrates first birthday

Happy birthday to America's favorite panda.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Aug. 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Panda cub Bao Bao is turning 1 year old on Saturday, marking a year of adoration at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

The Washington Post compiled a video of Bao Bao's milestones during her first year in the nation's capital. Born to Mei Xiang, the cub has become a national celebrity and the unofficial mascot of the National Zoo.

During the government shutdown, companies were more productive and employees had broken hearts after the panda cam was turned off. The National Zoo will be hosting a birthday party for the panda at its location in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

The pandas were a gift from China as a sign of good will and will eventually be returned home. There are less than 2,000 giant pandas alive today with 300 in zoos and parks.

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