Elephant sperm storeage
Artificial insemination AI plays a key role in genetic management of elephants in captivity. Currently, freshly extended or chilled semen is used in all AI attempts. To maximize AI efficiency, it has become imperative to optimize conditions for liquid storage and semen transport. After 24 h of storage, African elephant spermatozoa exhibited greater longevity and higher values in sperm quality parameters compared to Asian elephants. In African elephants, there were no differences among extenders.
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F Corresponding author. Email: gvdhorst7 gmail. This study aimed to address the lack of information on quantitative semen and sperm characteristics of free-ranging African elephants. While most elephant cows are in oestrus in the rainy season, it is not evident whether sperm quality also improves during this period. Semen samples were assessed using computer-aided sperm analysis CASA , brightfield microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
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In what could be an important step toward stabilizing the world's population of endangered Asian elephants , German researchers say they've hit on a way to freeze elephant sperm without destroying its viability. Elephants are notoriously tricky to breed in zoos, with high rates of miscarriages and infant mortality. Artificial insemination AI is possible, but fresh sperm is delicate and can be damaged in transport.
The captive elephant population is not self-sustaining and with a limited number of breeding bulls, its genetic diversity is in decline. One way to overcome this is to import young and healthy animals from the wild. We introduce here a more sustainable alternative method - importation of semen from wild bulls without removing them from their natural habitat. Due to the logistics involved, the only practical option would be to transport cryopreserved sperm.