What would have been the first ever live broadcast of a panda cub birth has had to be cancelled after it emerged the expectant mother may have been faking her pregnancy.
lzf/lzf / Stock image of giant panda in Chengdu. Not Ai Hin.
The broadcast was planned after giant panda Ai Hin began showing signs of pregnancy at the Chengdu Breeding Research Centre in China, AFP reports
state news agency Xinhua as saying.
Pandas thought to be pregnant receive 24-hour care, more food, and live in an air-conditioned single room.
Wu Kongju, who works at the centre, told Xinhua: "They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."
It is thought Ai Hin may have experienced a "phantom pregnancy".
The Chinese news agency says that bears have been known to display signs of being pregnant after becoming aware of the preferential treatment.
Earlier this month, keepers at Edinburgh Zoo said its giant panda Tian Tian might be pregnant.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty
Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said at the time: "The latest scientific data suggests Tian Tian the giant panda is now pregnant and that implantation has taken place, therefore she may give birth at the end of the month."