Public Punk’d by Panda: Mei Xiang is NOT Pregnant!

In spite of months of maternal showboating, Mei Xiang will not be bearing a panda cub this year. Experts at the National Zoo speculate that she either experienced another pseudopregnancy or lost an early-stage fetus that failed to develop. Having kept close tabs on Mei since her artificial insemination last March, this news is a major letdown—especially since resident panda cub Tai Shan is currently set to remain at the Zoo through 2009 before returning to China.

A few words to you, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian: your adoring American public demands an overload of baby panda cuteness and you haven’t exactly been toeing the line. So for next year, if you need scented candles, slinky plus-sized lingerie, a well-stocked open seafood buffet—anything that might get y’all in the mood and facilitate a successful pregnancy, just say the word and we’ll make it yours.

And for those of you who remember our panda poll a few blog entries ago: 118 votes were cast, and 20% of you were right. Pat yourselves on the back—your cynicism about successfully breeding pandas in captivity prevails!

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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