Mei Xiang Likes to Play With Ultrasound Gel

Not Making This Up

Smithsonian Institution

Another butterstick baby on the way? Mei Xiang is keeping everyone guessing, reports the National Zoo. The female panda, who's experiencing either a pregnancy or (we hope not!) one of those fakeout pseudopregnancies, is cooperating with ultrasound procedures... and then she likes to play with her "gelly" belly afterwards. The Zoo reports:

The ultrasound gel makes her double over and rub her belly and ears vigorously, exhaling with pleasure. Rolling on her back reminds one staff member of a breakdancing back spin as she scent anoints her body with the gel.

Is it just us, or is this the cutest possible thing short of an actual panda baby?

The zoo also says that Mei Xiang has been shredding bamboo culm in the den and her enclosures, and is cradling her toys and even her "Kong baby" -- a rubber cub-sized dog toy. "She has carried the toys (a ball and a spool) into the den but removes the 'Kong baby' when the keepers move it into her den," says the report. Play nicely, Mei Xiang! Treat your toys with fairness!

That said, we didn't know ultrasound goo could be considered a plaything, but we suppose that's just one of the many, many things that pandas can teach us.

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