She can bear-ly contain herself: Fu Ni the giant panda celebrates her birthday with presents and a huge ice block cake 

  • Fu Ni the giant panda celebrated her ninth birthday at Adelaide Zoo 
  • The adorable bear was given huge toy presents to open and a cake 
  • Her keepers are hoping that in return she will fall pregnant in the upcoming breeding season, in her tiny, annual 36-hour fertility slot
  • Giant pandas are an endangered species, with only 1600 left in the wild 

Fu Ni the adorable giant panda was busy melting hearts over the weekend, as she cheekily eyed down a mountain of presents for her ninth birthday at Adelaide Zoo.

One of two giant pandas at the zoo, Fu Ni was thrown a huge party - complete with streamers, an ice block birthday cake and an assortment of special food treats wrapped in huge gift boxes.

It's the fifth birthday Fu Ni has had since arriving in Adelaide from China with her partner Wang Wang in 2009, as part of a ten-year loan.

Wang Wang will turn 10 in just over a week.

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Fu Ni the adorable giant panda bear celebrated her ninth birthday over the weekend at Adelaide Zoo

Fu Ni the adorable giant panda bear celebrated her ninth birthday over the weekend at Adelaide Zoo

The playful 9-year-old was ecstatic with her towering ice block cake, grinning next to it for a photo

The playful 9-year-old was ecstatic with her towering ice block cake, grinning next to it for a photo

Mind if I open this one first mum? Fu Ni's precious facial expression speaks a thousand words

Mind if I open this one first mum? Fu Ni's precious facial expression speaks a thousand words

Panda keeper Monika Lapka said Fu Ni loved her special treats of condensed milk, honey and fruit. 

A large crowd turned out to partake in the panda's special celebrations, captivated as they watched her discover treats hidden inside specially made toys, including panda cake - one of her favourites.

'She got panda cake, which is made mostly of mulched up bamboo with some sugar and some eggs and some flour and some minerals as well,' said Ms Lapka, according to the ABC.

Fu Ni's keeper said she had grown into a beautiful, mature panda- but had not forgotten her playful nature

Fu Ni's keeper said she had grown into a beautiful, mature panda- but had not forgotten her playful nature

Peekaboo! Fu Ni is known for her playful, interactive nature - and loves to be the centre of attention

Peekaboo! Fu Ni is known for her playful, interactive nature - and loves to be the centre of attention

 The lovable bear plonked down to nibble on a huge cardboard cut-out of a mushroom

 The lovable bear plonked down to nibble on a huge cardboard cut-out of a mushroom

Happy Birthday! Fun! Fu Ni sniffed at her huge toy presents, which had her favourite treats hidden inside

Happy Birthday! Fun! Fu Ni sniffed at her huge toy presents, which had her favourite treats hidden inside

Ms Lapka said Fu Ni had grown into a beautiful, mature female panda.

'She may have grown into a more mature panda over the last few years but thankfully her playful nature is a part of her personality that has not changed,' the keeper said. 

Senior panda keeper Simone Bayly says Fu Ni is a 'playful and interactive little lady' that loves attention, whilst her male friend Wang Wang is known for being 'handsome and intelligent'. 

 Huge crowds came to Adelaide zoo over the weekend to celebrate Fu Ni's ninth birthday

 Huge crowds came to Adelaide zoo over the weekend to celebrate Fu Ni's ninth birthday

 They watched on in delight as the cheeky bear continued to inspect her presents like an eager child

 They watched on in delight as the cheeky bear continued to inspect her presents like an eager child

Zoo officials are hoping she will be be able to fall pregnant  in the upcoming breeding season

Zoo officials are hoping she will be be able to fall pregnant in the upcoming breeding season

She will ovulate once a year, during a small 36-hour fertility time slot that the keepers are eager to utilise

She will ovulate once a year, during a small 36-hour fertility time slot that the keepers are eager to utilise

But zoo officials are hoping the lovable female will return the favour after her special celebrations, and deliver them a darling baby panda in the upcoming breeding season.

The young pair of pandas have so far been unsuccessful - as females only provide a tiny 36-hour frame in which they are fertile - but zoo keepers are hopeful that this year could be the one.

'Some time over the next month we will definitely be naturally breeding them and potentially artificially inseminating her', said Ms Lapka. 

Female pandas ovulate only once a year, and a short period of two to three days around ovulation is the only time she is able to conceive. 

With up to half a year set aside for pregnancy, and limitations in breeding before four and after twenty years of age, a giant panda can realistically only raise five to eight cubs in her lifetime.

Because of this naturally slow-breeding rate and the tragedy of illegal hunting, the species is listed as endangered and in the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species.

There are about 1600 of the magnificent bears left in the wild, with another 300 or so kept in zoos. 

Her male partner, Wang Wang, is described as being handsome and intelligent - but has been unable to catch the attention of Fu Ni in previous breeding attempts

Her male partner, Wang Wang, is described as being handsome and intelligent - but has been unable to catch the attention of Fu Ni in previous breeding attempts

Giant pandas are endangered, and are in the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species

Giant pandas are endangered, and are in the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species

The stunning black and white bear has dark patches around its eyes, ears, muzzle, legs and shoulders

The stunning black and white bear has dark patches around its eyes, ears, muzzle, legs and shoulders

There are estimated to be just 1600 of these powerful bears left in the wild, and a further 300 in zoos

There are estimated to be just 1600 of these powerful bears left in the wild, and a further 300 in zoos