One savvy panda in China may have figured out that the way to get more buns in her mouth was to pretend to have a bun in the oven.
According to The Independent, Ai Hin the giant panda was scheduled to deliver the first live broadcast of a panda cub birth, from the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research in Sichuan province.
However, after two months of displaying signs of pregnancy, handlers discovered that the giant panda only had a phantom pregnancy.
While giant pandas are prone to phantom pregnancies, which are often due to hormonal fluctuations, Ai Hin may have made a keen observation that made her fake pregnancy a strategic move.
An expert at the research center noted that when giant pandas are exhibiting signs of pregnancy, they receive special treatment, including an air-conditioned room and more of the panda’s favorite foods like buns, fruit and bamboo.
The extra care is deemed necessary because the endangered species have trouble breeding in captivity.
Researchers speculate that Ai Hin may have pretended to be pregnant in order to be pampered.
No word yet on when the world can expect to watch a live stream of a panda birth.