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Panda May Have Faked Pregnancy for Better Treatment

A previously scheduled live broadcast of a panda giving birth at the Chengdu Breeding Research Centre in China has been cancelled after it was discovered that the mom-panda-to-be was not really pregnant. Come again?

It turns out that the panda, named Ai Hin, may have been experiencing what's known as a phantom pregnancy.

And this wouldn't be the first time such a thing as occurred. According to Chinese news agency AFP female pandas have been known to display signs similar to those exhibited in pregnancy once they realize pregnant bears receive preferential treatment. Pregnant pandas are usually given 24-hour care, more food, special treats and live in a air-conditioned room alone (aka luxury).

Six-year-old Ai Hin displayed reduced mobility, a shrinking appetite and a surge in hormones when she was first thought to be pregnant. However after prolonged observation it appears that all of those symptoms have all but disappeared, leading researchers to believe she was never pregnant to begin with.

Pretty amazing, isn't it?

Image via Flickr

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