They grow up so fast.
Bei Bei, the National Zoo's youngest giant panda, is celebrating his third birthday Wednesday. But the milestone also means that Bei Bei has just one year left living in the District.
When he turns 4 years old, Bei Bei will be separated from his mother and sent to China. The zoo's two adult pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, arrived on loan in 2000 but belong to China, as do any cubs they have. Their cubs are eventually sent back to China to participate in a breeding program, according to the National Zoo's website.
Bei Bei's older brother, Tai Shan, moved to China in 2010 while his sister, Bao Bao, went last year.
To celebrate his birthday, zookeepers gave Bei Bei a panda-friendly birthday cake.