Giant panda Ai Hin had her keepers duped. .

A giant Chinese panda has been accused of faking a pregnancy in a cunning bid for free buns.

Ai Hin seemed to display all the signs of an expectant mother, including moving less and initially having a smaller appetite

The keepers at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre were said to be so excited at the prospect of the pregnancy they prepared to film the birth.

However, it seems that Ai Hin had everyone duped and was never pregnant at all.

It seems the panda had learnt that her pregnancy news would see her rewarded with plenty of extra buns.

Wu Kongju, a panda expert told China's state news agency Xinhua that giant pandas are moved into a single room with air conditioning when pregnant.

"They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."

With only 24% of females in captivity giving birth, the bears have a notoriously low reproductive rate, posing a serious threat to the survival of the species.

China has about 1,600 pandas living in the wild and another 300 held in captivity.