Panda faked pregnancy to get more buns and bamboo?


photo by Chen Wu, Creative Commons

Giant pandas seem to be slightly sneakier than I thought. According to Xinhua, the panda Ai Hin, 6, was supposed to be the star in the first ever live broadcast of a panda birth. However, it has now been discovered that she has potentially faked her pregnancy. Apparently, phantom pregnancies are common among giant pandas, because hormonal changes can lead to prenatal behaviors. And sometimes when pandas notice the difference in treatment after showing initial signs of pregnancy, they may carry on with the pregnant behavior.

“After showing prenatal signs, the ‘mothers-to-be’ are moved into single rooms with air conditioning and around-the-clock care,” Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu base, is quoted as saying. 

“They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life”.

Ai Hin showed signs of pregnancy in July, which included being less mobile, reduced appetite and an increase in progestational hormone, but after a two-month observation she started acting normal again, according to Xinhua.

So, bad news for the world that the pregnancy was fake, but well played by Ai Hin who has been living the good life this summer.

DJUR PÅ DJUR – picopanda’s best of

Animals on top of other animals – that’s what ‘Djur på djur’ means in Swedish – and this refers to a brilliant Swedish website with a huge collection of such cute, cool, beautiful, funny pictures. New animal piles were added for about three years, until January this year. The creator of the site can still be followed at a facebook fan page. Picopanda has of course browsed through the whole photo collection and has picked out 15 favourites. The first one out is a whole pile of cuteness!


three puppies                                           aww_2puppies



aww3_tinyrabbit                  aww_rabbit_kapybara





surfing                               omg_tinyturtle





beautiful                        cute


earings                          gladcroc



l-Baby-elephants                                   haha_hundar








Mouth-to-mouth rescues Koala

A Koala in Melbourne has been saved by a wildlife rescuer and fire fighters by getting heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (the guardian). After being hit by a car the koala had climbed up a tree and passed out. The rescuers threw him down from the tall tree into a blanket, and immediatly started the CPR.

Apparently koalas often flee up in trees when they are hit by cars or bitten by dogs, and unfortunately the rescuers get many calls about koalas. This little guy has been named Sean and is now resting at a wildlife shelter.


relaxing sean, picture from

To help koalas yourself you can adopt one here, maybe a little joey? – what I learned today is what baby koalas are called 🙂




Yesterday’s Reddit harvest

It is not always the best thing to have your smartphone in the bedroom. I check my email a lot and too often fall into reading work emails right before going to sleep. A better thing to do though is checking out the aww section at! These are my top 3 from yesterday evening’s scrolling around:


From, by, by


From, by, by


From, by, by

Newborn goat-sheep baby Butterfly

A few weeks ago geep Butterfly was born – a very rare baby with a sheep as a mother and a pygmy goat as a father. Apparently, the parents kept their relationship a secret, and the little geep was born very unexpectedly. Usually geeps are stillborn (sheep have 54 chromosomes while goats have 60), but this little Butterfly is doing very well! She was born at a petting zoo in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is getting a lot of attention, of course!

Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC

Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC


Butterfly with her mother  Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC

Butterfly with her mother
Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC


Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC

Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC


Butterfly's father Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC

Butterfly’s father
Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC


Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC

Facebook: MyPettingZooLLC


Four cute helpers and panda triplets

After a long silence – mostly doing science and trying to properly relax when not working – picopanda is back, a lot thanks to four cute cuteness helpers. So, thank you to Jim, Pelle, Randy and Paola!

One of my favourite baby goat videos right now is one of little Buttermilk jumping around among her more relaxed friends. Make sure to watch the whole video, not to miss when she’s using one of the other goats as a springboard :-):


Another video which has been widely shared the last couple of days is one of a dog seemingly trying to save some fish by splashing them with water using his nose! It is really heart-warming to see and I wonder if he’s not hurting his nose…At the same time there has been many people commenting this video, saying that the dog is not at all trying to save the fish, but instead he wants to “bury” them in water to save the food for later…To me, it even looks like he’s checking if the water he splashes helps the fish, but I am not so familiar with dog rituals. What do others say about this??


Going from dogs back to baby pandas, the 29th of July was a big panda day – panda triplets were born at a Chinese zoo! They weighed only between 83 and 124 grams at birth.

In a guardian article an official at the Sichuan Wolong national nature reserve, considered the foremost authority on pandas, said that the trio were too young to be officially recognised as surviving, but that they were the only known panda triplets alive. It is stated that they can only be considered surviving once they reach six months. Let’s really hope that they will make it!