Summer keeps on burning in most parts of Asia. People use umbrellas to avoid the hot sun, go swimming whenever possible, and stay indoors, with an air conditioner if they are lucky. A female panda in Taiwan came up with a clever idea to get her own air-conditioner: faking pregnancy.
In July of 2013, Yuan Yuan gave birth to a baby panda, Yuan Zai. When Yuan Yuan was pregnant, she was given the best of care 24/7 by the Taipei Zoo, including having her own deluxe, air-conditioned, single room. Yuan Yuan must have a deep impression of the VIP service she got that summer.
In late March of 2015, Yuan Yuan received artificial insemination twice, according to Caijing News. From June 11, Yuan Yuan was observed with signs of pregnancy, and was transferred to the air-conditioned room and provided with a better diet, including fruits, snacks, and bamboo.
However, Yuan Yuan’s pregnancy behaviors and symptoms gradually disappeared after a couple of days. After a thorough inspection and evaluation, the experts and zoo workers concluded Yuan Yuan was not really pregnant.
They think Yuan Yuan the panda was faking pregnancy to get VIP living conditions, like an air conditioner.
According to the experts, “false pregnancy” is a common phenomenon in female giant pandas. To judge whether a female panda is really pregnant, scientists have to keep checking for progesterone changes and dietary changes. Even so, they can’t determine if pandas are truly pregnant until one or two days before the panda is in labor. Yuan Yuan has made good use of this limitation in the medical science of pandas.