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208 viewsTian Tian and Mei Xiang wanted to do something on 1st May to celebrate the arrival of spring, but neither of them fancied getting up at dawn to wash their faces in the May dew, as that would mean less sleep, or maypole dancing, as that would mean exerting themselves! They settled, instead, on being crowned King and Queen of the May and I think you’ll agree that they make a regal-looking pair!
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171 viewsOn 2nd June 1953, a day described by Winston Churchill as ‘happy and glorious’, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey. Although meteorologists had forecast warm and sunny weather, the day dawned grey and wet, however nothing could dampen the spirits of the 30,000 people who had braved the elements by camping overnight in The Mall to stake their claim to the best vantage points. There was further cause for celebration that morning when the news broke that Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing had become the first men to conquer Mount Everest – the one Coronation gift that money couldn’t buy.
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On Mother's Day, With Love170 viewsThis year, Mother's Day was a very special one for the Smithsonian's National Zoo as their female panda, Mei Xiang, celebrated it with her seven-month old cub, Bao Bao. I was in Washington in February to see this newest addition to America's First Panda Family and, if anything, she's even cuter than she looks in this photo. I think you'll agree there's no better way to tell your mom you love her than with a rose and a great big kiss!
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Keep Fit Panda170 viewsAs Yang Guang was feeling a little out of shape, he decided to join a keep fit class. After only a few weeks, he can now do a very passable handstand which I hope will be good enough to impress Tian Tian!
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165 viewsMale pandas, whether living in the wild or in captivity, aren't involved in the care of their cubs nor do they even get to meet them. The only exception is the male in this happy family group who appears to realise the significance of what's being recorded for posterity in this portrait specially commissioned for Father's Day!
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163 viewsYang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo’s gorgeous male panda, celebrates his 10th birthday on 14th August. He was born in Mongolia and, in March 2011, in preparation for his journey to Scotland, he joined Tian Tian (Edinburgh’s female panda) at the Bifengxia Panda Base, near the town of Ya’An, a beautiful part of China surrounded by mountains, rivers, green plants and colourful flowers.
Last year, Yang was given all sorts of treats for his birthday, including bamboo boxes flavoured with his favourite honey and a cake in the shape of a panda’s head.

However, while he immediately tucked into the bamboo with great relish, (after all, a panda can never have enough bamboo!), Yang wasn’t particularly interested in his birthday cake, made from healthy panda-friendly ingredients, (perhaps what he really wanted was a chocolate one with icing and candles!), though I’m quite sure that he eventually demolished it later in the day.

I'm really looking forward to finding out what surprises Yang Guang’s keepers have in store for his tenth birthday when Yang, and not Tian Tian, will be the centre of attention for a change.
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162 viewsWith Chelsea Flower Show celebrating its 100th anniversary this week, Yang Guang has been puzzling over humans' obsession with flowers. Like most pandas, he'd much rather have bamboo from Amsterdam than tulips!
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