“Phantom pregnancy” panda becomes mother for real

A giant panda that let down her fans with a “phantom pregnancy” in 2014 gave birth to a cub on Friday morning.

The male cub, weighing 145 grams, was born at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The baby panda is the first born worldwide this year. He and his mother are in good health.

The delivery was broadcast live online by the research center, drawing an audience of more than 100,000 people.

In August 2014, viewers tuning in to a live feed of the supposedly pregnant Ai Bang were surprised, when she never gave birth.

It was later discovered that she was not actually pregnant.

Phantom pregnancies are common among pandas.

Non-pregnant pandas are often subject to progestational hormone changes.

And scientists who work with pandas say the “mothers” sometimes notice differences in their treatment and fake pregnancy in anticipation of greater comforts and attention.

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