Giant panda 'faked' pregnancy to get treats at Chinese research centre

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:21 PM ET

A giant panda named Ai Hin may have faked a pregnancy to get more treats from staff, officials at the Chengdu Breeding Research Centre in China say.

The six-year-old panda was pampered after it showed signs of potentially being pregnant. But after being moved into a room for specialized medical care, Ai Hin stopped acting like it was pregnant.

"They receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life," Wu Kongju, an expert at the centre, told Xinhua, China's state-run news agency.

Ai Hin was set to give birth in the world's first live broadcast.

Staff at the centre said Ai Hin experienced a "phantom pregnancy."

Pandas have delayed implantation, meaning it can take anywhere from 87 to 186 days before the embryo moves and the process begins. It's usually unknown if a panda is actually pregnant until about 20 days before the animal is set to give birth.

 


Videos

Photos