WASHINGTON — Is Mei Xiang, the female panda at the National Zoo, pregnant? Well, maybe.
While zoo keepers haven’t been able to confirm whether or not she is pregnant, she has been building a nest in her den, has a decreased appetite, sleeping more and reacting to loud noises. All of these behaviors are normal behaviors in line with both an actual, and a false pregnancy.
It’s too bad there aren’t pregnancy tests for pandas because that would make this so much easier.
Just to be safe, the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be partially closed to keep a quiet area around Mei Xiang’s den.
The closure won’t affect the outdoor habitats and viewing areas, and of course there is always the panda cam.
Pandas, like several other species, can undergo pseudopregnancies where they do everything they would do if they were pregnant. But at the end of the pseudopregnancy, hormone and energy levels return to normal.
The National Zoo will continue to share updates via social media and through the Zoo’s Giant Panda Bulletin.