Panda may have faked pregnancy for buns
A giant panda has been accused of faking signs of pregnancy after learning she would be given five-star treatment - with plenty of extra buns.
Ai Hin got her Chinese keepers all excited after showing signs she was pregnant, including moving less and initially having a smaller appetite.
The keepers at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre were so thrilled they even prepared to film the birth.
Tests, however, have now revealed that Ai Hin was never pregnant and experts believe she may have been putting on an act.
Previously, the giant panda is believed to have been moved into a single room with air conditioning when pregnant.
"They also 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 told China's state news agency Xinhua.
Experts believed the bear may have learned to fake the signs of pregnancy after associating them with being pampered.
The giant panda's natural habitat is in the mountainous southwest of China.
The bears have a notoriously low reproductive rate and are suffering because of changing factors such as habitat loss.
China has about 1,600 pandas living in the wild and another 300 held in captivity.
"Only 24% of females in captivity give birth, posing a serious threat to the survival of the species," Xinhua said.