SCBI Researchers Use Frozen Testes Tissue To Generate Sperm
April 29, 2015
Researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) have generated mature sperm from frozen testicular tissue for the first time. Their findings were published in PLOS ONE today. The technique, called xenografting, has been successful in several domestic species but has never been done with frozen tissue before.
Photo Release: National Zoo Scientists Artificially Inseminate Giant Panda Mei Xiang
April 27, 2015
After carefully monitoring the behavior of both its giant pandas and female Mei Xiang’s (may-SHONG) hormones for weeks, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers performed two artificial inseminations within the last 24 hours. The first procedure started at 6 p.m. on April 26, and the second began at 7:30 this morning, April 27. Daily hormone reports showed Mei Xiang’s progesterone levels peaked Sunday morning, an indication that she was in estrus and able to become pregnant.
National Zoo Prepares for Giant Panda Breeding Season with the Arrival of Frozen Semen from China
April 21, 2015
Caitlin Burrell, research scientist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, returned from China last night April 20, with frozen giant panda semen that had been stored at the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base’s cryopreservation bank. The sperm may be used for an artificial insemination on the Zoo’s female giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) when she goes into estrus this spring. This is the first time frozen semen has been transported from China to the National Zoo for breeding.
Photo Release: New Western Lowland Gorilla on Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
April 9, 2015
Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, is now on exhibit at the National Zoo. Keepers describe the 12-year-old female as confident and socially-savvy. She arrived at the National Zoo from the Woodland Park Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ western lowland gorilla Species Survival Plan. After arriving at the Zoo Feb. 25, Calaya spent 30 days in quarantine per standard procedure. For the past few days, keepers have been slowly introducing her to 22-year-old silverback male Baraka and females 32-year-old Mandara and 6-year-old Kibibi. Zoo visitors can see Calaya at the Great Ape House.
Giant Anteater Update
February 12, 2015
Giant anteater Maripi gave birth to a female pup the night of January 24. Keepers monitored both Maripi and her pup via a closed circuit camera. Within 48 hours keepers became concerned that the pup was not thriving.