Panda cub is a boy, but Kai Kai is the real baby for his 14th birthday celebration

A messy birthday party for the big boy.

Zi Shan Kow | September 12, 2021, 10:48 AM

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Although 14 is a fine age for Giant pandas to start acting like the adult he is, playful Kai Kai defies his middle-age identity during his birthday bash.

Kai Kai is turning 14 on Sep 14, and earlier on Friday (Sep. 10), the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) celebrated his birthday at the River Safari's giant panda enclosure.

Pandas in the wild can live up to 20 years, and up to 36 years in captivity, according to WRS.

Birthday festivities

Kai Kai was met with gift boxes surrounded by a spread of 14 "lit" pink and blue candles.

The candles were stuffed with hay and food pellets, and Kai Kai tore them apart with no hesitation.

Edible candles. Image by Kow Zi Shan.

With his sharp claws and teeth, Kai Kai also rips into the wrapped gift boxes with ease, only to find them empty.

The presents are quickly destroyed. Image by Kow Zi Shan.

As if to express his disappointment, he momentarily buries his face into the boxes in an act of protest.

For half a minute, Kai Kai looks closely for his present. Image by Kow Zi Shan.

Besides acting as birthday candles and gifts, they are also provided as toys a form of enrichment, boost mental and physical well-being of the animal, WRS said.

Zero remorse for the mess. Image by Kow Zi Shan.

You're a father!

Kai Kai's birthday celebration also doubles up as a gender reveal party for his three-week-old cub.

Hanging on a tall tree branch was a box containing Kai Kai's real surprise.

Knowing that the new father has always been rather food-motivated, his caretakers made sure to bring his favourite food for the important reveal.

Scaling the branch, Kai Kai's eyes were only trained on one thing - not the box's pink and blue tassels, but a dangling piece of carrot.

Kai Kai took a sniff of the carrot and pulled off the bottom of the box in one swift motion.

As a shower of blue confetti rained down, it is revealed that the his baby cub is a boy!

It's a boy! Kai Kai reveals the baby's gender.

I'm a father?

Kai Kai couldn't care less - with the carrot in his mouth, he gazes down at the blue mess around him, unbothered.

Are these festivities for me? Images by Kow Zi Shan.

Super mum Jia Jia also just turned 13 on Sep. 3, and has been hard at work caring for the baby cub 24/7, but not without antics of her own.

Panda newborns are completely helpless and fully dependent on their mothers until about two years old.

The panda mums are typically their primary caregiver in the wild.

Meanwhile, panda dad Kai Kai fiddles with the cardboard boxes, barely aware of his status as a father.

Hehehe. Image by Kow Zi Shan.

Noticing another pile of bamboo, Kai Kai made his way over, as if he didn't just have breakfast.

As visitors to River Safari began to stream in, Kai Kai rounds off his birthday celebration with more bamboo, seemingly content with the mess he made behind him.

Image by Kow Zi Shan.

The full stream of his birthday celebration is also available on WRS' Facebook:

Top images by Kow Zi Shan.