Elephant Reproduction

2704 Words Jun 17th, 2018 11 Pages
Reproduction of Female Elephants
Basic anatomy and physiology, artificial insemination, parturition, and social aspects of reproduction
Introduction
The study and research of reproduction in elephants is increasingly critical in consideration of the quickly dwindling population numbers and estimates. The current Asian elephant population is estimated to lie between 50,000-70,000 across the world, with 15,000 of these individuals in captivity. African elephant population numbers are low as well after serious culling through hunting and poaching. These numbers make the low reproduction rates a great concern as elephants do not currently sufficiently reproduce at an adequate rate to sustain population size.12
Reproductive Anatomy and
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The first pregnancy that resulted from AI was accounted for in 1998 using fresh semen and was done by detecting a slight rise in progesterone prior to ovulation, indicating proper timing for insemination.9, 14 Now ultrasonagraphy can also be used to detect imminent ovulation as follicular development is easily followed, as well as detect the timing of ovulation.14
It is common for the semen of 2-3 bulls to be used to ensure at least one quality sample to produce a pregnancy. In the instance that multiple donors are used, parentage is confirmed via DNA analysis. Most frequently, nonsurgical insemination is performed. This method calls for a trained and accommodating elephant as a large bore cannula is inserted into the lower urogenital tract. A 3m endoscope is inserted through the cannula and conducted to the hymen in first time mothers and the cervix or uterine horn of a cow that has calved. A small insemination cannula is used to deposit semen into the vagina, threaded through the hymen in nulliparous cows. In parous cows the semen may be deposited further into the uterus.14 Surgical insemination
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