The staff at the National Zoo was thrilled when they thought that Mei Xiang, their female giant panda, was expecting a cub. However, after examining her and analyzing her behavior, it appears that Mei Xiang will not be giving birth anytime soon.
Mei Xiang was apparently experiencing a pseudopregnancy, as was revealed when there was no fetus detected during ultrasound, and her hormonal levels did not reflect the changes associated with pregnancy, according to a statement released by the zoo.
Scientists artificially inseminated Mei Xiang twice in January, in the hopes that the endangered creature would conceive and give birth. It has been estimated that there are currently only 1,600 giant pandas in the wild.
According to the zoo, Mei Xiang has experienced five pseudopregnancies, which are not that uncommon for female giant pandas.
Animal rights activists who are interested helping animals can donate money to the National Zoo or look for other opportunities to lend their funds or time to the cause.