Happy birthday, dear…panda?

I just saw this photo on the Yahoo! homepage of a panda at a zoo in Taipei, Taiwan eating her birthday cake. Yes, you read that right–birthday cake, not bamboo.

Taiwan Panda

I wondered if giving zoo animals birthday cakes was a common practice, and thanks to the powers of Internet search, I can tell you that, yes, it is!

The Huffington Post has a slideshow of a hippo, walrus, cheetah and other assorted animals celebrating another year in captivity with cake (or cake subsitute).

slide_485_11168_large

Part of me thinks these photos are really cute, but another part of me is screaming, “Why do we do this?” Stop with the anthropomorphism already. It’s a nice photo op and publicity stunt for zoos, but animals don’t care about their birthdays.

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