When Ai Hin, the beautiful panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, started to show signs of being pregnant with her increased appetite and higher levels of pregnancy hormones, researchers at the southeast China's facility were so ecstatic, they planned a reality show around the new mother-to-be.
According to Xinhua News however, Ai Hin's caretakers say the clever plus size black and white beauty may have been faking her pregnancy in favor of getting some preferential panda pampering. According to the Huffington Post:
"After showing prenatal signs, the [panda] 'mothers-to-be' are moved into single rooms with air conditioning and around-the-clock care," said Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu Research Base, per CNN. "They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."
Although some of Ai Hin's caretakers are convinced she may have indeed been clever enough to feign pregnancy for these last two months, experts at the ChinaPanda Organization state Ai Hin faking it was unlikely. If the insemination failed, she still may have been exhibiting the signs; thus still feeling the symptoms.
According to Panda.org., the last census completed in 2004 for the number of pandas in China counted only 1,600 alive in the wild. There are estimated to be 300 pandas in zoos; most of them in China. The animals are extremely difficult to count since most of them live solitary lives and roam in remote regions hard to locate.
Just last week, BaoBao, the Smithsonian's National Zoo most famous panda cub, celebrated her first birthday. Check out one of her earlier videos.
Unfortunately pandas are an endangered species and rarely breed in captivity.
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