100,000 watch as giant panda gives birth

PHOTO: REUTERS

A giant panda that let down her fans with a "phantom pregnancy" in 2014 gave birth to a cub yesterday morning, with more than 100,000 people viewing her delivery online.

The male cub, weighing 145g, was born at a giant panda breeding centre in Chengdu, China. Both baby panda, the first born worldwide this year, and its mother, called Ai Bang, are in good health.

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

But 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 carry on with the pregnant behaviour in anticipation of greater comforts and attention.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2016, with the headline '100,000 watch as giant panda gives birth'. Print Edition | Subscribe