Panda gives birth in Chengdu research centre with 100,000 online viewers
What is a phantom pregnancy? It is a condition common among giant pandas, where a non-pregnant panda displays signs nearly identical to those of an actually pregnant individual. This is due to hormonal changes that give the mother many of the physical and behavioral changes that occur with a regular pregnancy.
Ai Hin, a giant panda currently residing within the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in China’s Sichuan province was a recent example of this phenomenon. After raising and subsequently dashing the hopes of fans with a phantom pregnancy in 2014, Ai Hin has come through this time with a live birth of a 145-gram male cub.
The event was watched live by over 100,000 people over the internet, where fans were happy to congratulate Ai Hin on her contribution to the continuation of her endangered species and to adorably cute animals as a whole.
Giant panda populations have been decreasing recently because of loss of habitat due to a combination of farming, deforestation, and other development projects. Thankfully, sheltered breeding efforts such as those performed in this case are gaining ground in replenishing their number.
The couple are currently recovering from the birth and are expected to soon back in perfect fighting shape.