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.

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