It’s a plot plucked from a soap-opera script.
Displeased with her day-to-day life, Ai Hin concocts a plan to fake a pregnancy in a desperate plea for more attention – and treats! (Bwahahahaha.)
On Tuesday, experts at China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding revealed that they caught on to Ai Hin the panda’s scheme – dun, dun, dun! – and canceled a live broadcast they were planning of the cub’s birth, which would have been the world’s first.
According to AFP, the breeding center traditionally pampers pandas that could be pregnant. Benefits include single rooms with air conditioning and 24-hour care, plus an overabundance of goodies to eat.
“They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life,” an expert at the base told state news agency Xinhua.
They’re calling Ai Hin’s plot a “phantom pregnancy,” and apparently it’s common among endangered animals. The news agency said that before they determined the 6-year-old panda wasn’t expecting, she had a reduced appetite, less mobility and a surge in hormones.
Basically, this all sounds like daytime Emmy gold to us!