The six-year-old panda, named Ai Hin, had shown signs of pregnancy for a couple months, including a change in appetite, moving less and and shift in hormone levels, leading her handles to think she was expecting a cub.
After a couple months, Ai Hin started acting normally again, probably because that fake belly she ordered off Amazon wasn’t going to ship in time to pull this ruse off.
According to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, phantom pregnancies in pandas aren’t all that uncommon. Pandas often have trouble breeding in captivity, so to make the pregnancy easier, once the handlers think a panda might be pregnant, they basically treat the bear like a khaleesi- they move her into a room with air conditioning and give her more fruit, bamboo and buns.
As a carb-addict who melts like a snow cone once the temperature hits eighty-five, I am all about the pregnant panda life. If someone offered to let me lounge around in a cool room and stuff myself full of sticky buns just for popping out a baby, I would give Michelle Dugger a run for her money.
I love this bear so much. Ai Hin the panda is a genius and my new personal hero. She is a bear who’s got it figured out. You don’t mess with the (fake)momma bear. As amazing as it is to bring a new human into the world, being pregnant is not all rainbows and sunshine. I remember days where my feet were too swollen to fit into my shoes, my chin looked like a connect-the-dots game, the roller coaster of emotions, wanting ALL the food and then throwing it all back up and falling asleep at work from exhaustion.
But at the same time, I remember some of the awesome pregnancy perks– never having to stand on the bus, not having to carry heavy things, getting to wear whatever I wanted while still being told I looked great and eating two hot fudge sundaes in a row without any judgement from anyone. Ai Hin has found a way to get all of these fabulous perks of pregnancy without any of the icky parts and I’m torn between admiration, jealousy and just wanting to pet the pretty panda bear. Move over Beyonce, there’s a new “is-she-or-isn’t she” preggo in town, and with her trendy but simple black and white ensemble, she just might be fiercer than you.
Excuse me while I go check the rules on sending mail to China- I totally want to send Ai Hin the panda a fangirl package full of bamboo right now.