Artificial insemination (AI)



Photo © Daryl Hoffman, Houston.

One of the first experiments with artificial insemination was undertaken with the african elephant cow Idunda in Basel Zoo in switzerland. They were unsuccesful.

In 1999 Dr. Dennis Schmitt (extern link), associate professor of veterinary medicine at Southwest Missouri State University, made history by being the first researcher to produce an elephant from artificial insemination. (The Asian elephant Haji in Dickerson Park Zoo, Springfield, U.S.A.).

AI has throughout the last years proven to be succesful with elephants, due to the efforts of Dr. Dennis Schmitt and the IZW (Institute for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research in Berlin) crew: Dr. T. Hildebrandt, Dr. F. Göritz, Dr. R. Hermes and Dr. G. Fritsch. But this metod is very expensive, and has its drawbacks, why most facilities in the future will concentrate their efforts to establish a self supporting captive elephant population.

In 1998, two of the Indianapolis Zoos female African elephants, Kubwa and Ivory, became pregnant through artificial insemination (AI). They were the worlds first African elephants to become pregnant through AI!

In 2001 the female african Sabi gave birth to the male african calf Abu in Vienna Zoo, Austria. The semen was collected from the bull Tembo in Colchester Zoo, England, this was the first time in europe that artificial insemination in elephants resulted in pregnancy.

In the future, probably only Zoo bred elephants will be exhibited in Zoos, since it is difficult to import wild elephants from africa and Asia. India, for example, prohibited trading of wild elephants 1977, but captive elephants born under domestication are traded. An import of 7 african elephants from Botsawana/South africa 1999 to europe resulted in extreme negative critic from welfare organisations, why african elephant imports will probably also be rare, although some african populations has grown to such numbers that thousand of elephants has to be culled.

Therefore, each fertile individual is expremely important, and in some situations, an artificial insemanination is the only way to breed the animal, who othervise may become to old before a natural breeding may takes place. In other cases, some Zoos may avoid to keep bulls, but still want to breed their female elephants.

So far, 50 elephants has been born by AI since 1999, 25 males, and 20 females. The next step is now to select the semen, in order to avoid the birth of too many bulls in captivity.

Sex ratio of elephant babies produced with Artificial insemination
 Males  25 / 50 
 50%
 Females  20 / 50 
 40%
 Unknown  5 / 50 
 10%


There is 19 bull elephants with AI offspring in the database.

(Show ALL - only africans - only asians
OffspringNameSpeciesOriginBirth dateDeath dateParents
9 babiesJack (Jackson)LAwild1976living x
7 babiesBulwagiLAcaptive-born1981-03-03livingPeter x Mama
4 babiesRajaEMcaptive-born1994-01-19living x Shree
3 babiesTemboLAwild1983living x
2 babiesSteve (wild)LAwildliving x
2 babiesEmmett (Tundi)EMcaptive-born1991-07-10livingIndy (Butch) x Romani
2 babiesSamsonEMcaptive-born1998-05-04livingCalvin (Chanda) x Kitty (Mookee)
2 babiesBong SuEMwild1974-08-03† 2017-10-09 x
2 babiesAliLAwild1991living x
1 babiesAbuLAcaptive-born2001-04-25livingTembo x Sabi
1 babiesMaclean (Mac)LAwild1982living x
1 babiesCalvin (Chanda)EMcaptive-born1986-08-11† 2015-10-22Bandara x Kamala
1 babiesNikoLAcaptive-born1997-06-03livingYossi x Norris (Mazal)
1 babiesSolomonLAwild1983† 2008-02-05 x
1 babiesSneezyEMwild1973living x
1 babiesLimboLAcaptive-born1991-01-13† 2017-04-08Yossi x Lara (Amy)
1 babiesAkunEM1977living x
1 babiesRex (Bimbo, Barney)EMwild1968living x
1 babiesDaleLAwild1978† 2003-11-03 x

50 Elephants born through artificial insemination

IndexNameSpecies
Sex
OriginAgeBirthDeath dateParentsArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Kimana-LA
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2020-04-20Abu x Tika2020-04-20Wuppertal Zoo
2-Fitz-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2019-09-02Jack (Jackson) x Mikki2019-09-02Louisville Zoo
3-Kibali-LA
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2019-07-13 x Numbi2019-07-13Vienna Zoo
4+ ♀ -Unnamed-EM
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2019-01-12Raja x Geetha2019-01-12Whipsnade Wild Animal Park
5+ ♀ -stillborn-LA
F
captive-born < 1 years(very wrong, db errors...)2018-07-012018-07-01 x Zola2018-07-01Zlin Lesna-Got Zoo
6-Thorn-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2018-05-04Samson x Rozie (Rozana)2018-05-04Albuquerque Biological Park
7+ ♀ -Binti-LA
F
captive-born < 1 years(very wrong, db errors...)2018-01-202018-01-22 x Duna2018-01-20Rhenen Zoo
8+ ♀ -stillborn-LA
F
captive-born < 1 years(very wrong, db errors...)2016-04-192016-04-19Niko x Goni (Beule)2016-03-00Amneville Zoo (Coulange Zoo)
9-Sutton-LA
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2014-05-05Steve (wild) x Five2014-05-05West Midland Safari Park
10-Iqhwa-LA
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2013-09-04Steve (wild) x Tonga (Rambo)2013-09-04Vienna Zoo
11-Bowie-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2013-08-05Samson x Bluebonnet2013-08-05Fort Worth Zoo
12-Namsai-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2013-07-27Raja x Bua2013-07-27Kolmarden Zoo
13-Rungwe-LA
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2012-07-20Limbo x NDala2018-09-26Magdeburg Zoo
14+ ⚪ -noname-LA
captive-born < 1 years(very wrong, db errors...)2012-07-06?2012-07-06? x MBili (Mbli)2012-07-06Beauval Zoo
15+ ♀ -Nyah-LA
F
captive-born 7 years(very wrong, db errors...)2012-06-282019-03-19Jack (Jackson) x Ivory2012-06-28Indianapolis Zoo
16+ ♀ -stillborn-EM
F
captive-born < 1 7 years(very wrong, db errors...)2012-03-252012-03-25Raja x Tara2012-03-25Twycross Zoo
17-Jabali-LA
M
captive-born 7 years(very wrong, db errors...)2011-08-25Ali x Vasha2011-08-24Disneys Animal Kingdom
18+ ♀ -Kalina-LA
F
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2011-07-202019-03-26Jack (Jackson) x Kubwa2011-07-20Indianapolis Zoo
19+ ♀ -miscarriage-EM
F
captive-born < 1 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)20112011Raja x Chandrika2011-00-00Woburn Safari Park
20-Pathi Harn-EM
M
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2010-03-10Bong Su x Porntip2015-04-24Taronga Western Plains Zoo
21+ ⚪ -stillborn-LA
captive-born < 1 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2010-02-242010-02-24Jack (Jackson) x Opal2010-02-24Colchester Zoo
22-Mali-EM
F
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2010-01-16Bong Su x Chaba2010-01-15Melbourne Zoo
23-Jake-EM
M
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2009-11-02Rex (Bimbo, Barney) x Natasha2018-10-08Denver Zoo
24-Zuri-LA
F
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2009-08-10Jack (Jackson) x Christi2009-08-10Hogle Zoo (Salt City Zoo)
25+ ♀ -Lil Girl-LA
F
captive-born < 1 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2009-07-062009-07-07Jack (Jackson) x Asali2009-07-06Memphis Zoo
26+ ⚪ -fetal death-LA
captive-born < 1 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2008-10-282008-10-28Jack (Jackson) x Dottie2008-10-27Atlanta Zoo
27+ ♀ -miscarriage-EM
F
captive-born < 1 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2008-08-142008-08-14Sneezy x Chai2008-08-14Woodland Park Zoo
28-Tsavo-LA
M
captive-born 8 years(very wrong, db errors...)2008-06-28Jack (Jackson) x Moyo2015-11-13Disneys Animal Kingdom
29+ ♂ -Scotty-LA
M
captive-born 3 years(very wrong, db errors...)2007-03-182010-05-12Jack (Jackson) x Mikki2007-03-18Louisville Zoo
30-Zahara-LA
F
captive-born 3 years(very wrong, db errors...)2006-08-31Ali x Ivory2006-08-31Indianapolis Zoo
31+ ♂ -stillborn-LA
M
captive-born < 1 3 years(very wrong, db errors...)2006-02-102006-02-10 x Genny C (Timba)2006-02-25Seneca Park Zoo
32+ ♂ -Thabo-Umasai-LA
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2006-02-042017-07-03Tembo x Drumbo2011-08-11Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
33-Gabi (Boon-Chooi)-EM
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2005-12-11Emmett (Tundi) x Kwunjai (Tamar)2010-10-06Gaziantep Zoo
34-Kedar-LA
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2005-10-18Bulwagi x Kubwa2005-10-18Indianapolis Zoo
35-Tamani-LA
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2005-10-17Bulwagi x Ellie2015-10-05Kansas City Zoo
36+ ♂ -Noname-LA
M
captive-born < 1 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2005-05-132005-05-13Bulwagi x Ibala2005-05-13Disneys Animal Kingdom
37+ ♂ -stillborn-EM
M
captive-born < 1 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2004-07-012004-07-01Emmett (Tundi) x Delhi2004-07-01Usti nad Labem Zoo
38+ ♂ -stillborn-LA
M
captive-born < 1 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2003-11-242003-04-07Bulwagi x Robin2003-11-24Disneys Animal Kingdom
39+ ♂ -Tufani-LA
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2003-05-222014-01-00Maclean (Mac) x Moyo2013-05-15National Elephant Center U.S.A.
40-Louie-LA
M
captive-born 11 years(very wrong, db errors...)2003-04-30Bulwagi x Renee (Mbili)2017-06-23Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo
41+ ♀ -Xixi-EM
F
captive-born 2 years(very wrong, db errors...)2003-04-302005-12-26Akun x Jing Sheng2003-04-30Xian Qinling Zoological Park
42+ ♀ -stillborn-LA
F
captive-born < 1 2 years(very wrong, db errors...)2003-03-212003-03-21Bulwagi x Misha2003-03-21Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Six Flags Marine World)
43+ ♂ -Kito-LA
M
captive-born 15 years(very wrong, db errors...)2002-12-062017-03-13Tembo x Tanya2009-06-03Dvur Kralove Zoo
44+ ♀ -stillborn-LA
F
captive-born < 1 15 years(very wrong, db errors...)2002-09-282002-09-28Solomon x Tika2002-09-28Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Six Flags Marine World)
45+ ♂ -stillborn-LA
M
captive-born < 1 15 years(very wrong, db errors...)2002-07-272002-07-27Bulwagi x Rafiki2002-07-27Toledo Zoo
46-Kandula-EM
M
captive-born 15 years(very wrong, db errors...)2001-11-25Calvin (Chanda) x Shanthi2015-10-00Oklahoma City Zoo
47-Abu-LA
M
captive-born 15 years(very wrong, db errors...)2001-04-25Tembo x Sabi2006-07-20Halle Zoo
48+ ♀ -Amali-LA
F
captive-born 3 years(very wrong, db errors...)2000-03-062003-06-03Dale x Kubwa2000-03-06Indianapolis Zoo
49+ ⚪ -miscarriage-LA
captive-born 3 years(very wrong, db errors...)2012-03-17 x GinaMemphis Zoo
50-unknown-EM
captive-born 3 years(very wrong, db errors...) x Pang Sao2009-00-00Maesa Elephant Camp


22 elephants mentioned in the database with association to AI

IndexNameSpecies
Sex
OriginAgeBirthDeath dateParentsArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Kanlaya-EM
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2018-06-14Putra Mas x Porntip2018-06-14Taronga Western Plains Zoo
2-Ongard-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2010-09-10Bong Su x Kulab2018-05-09Zoo Miami (Miami Metro Zoo)
3-Barack (Rocky)-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2009-01-19Doc x Bonnie2012-00-00Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation
4-AI-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)2007-03-07Ngam x Kod2007-03-07TECC (Thai Elephant Conservation Center - National Elephant Institute)
5-Albert-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)1998-11-29Calvin (Chanda) x Lilly (Israela)2003-11-19Albuquerque Biological Park
6-Samson-EM
M
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)1998-05-04Calvin (Chanda) x Kitty (Mookee)2018-04-10Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo)
7-Noor Jahan-EM
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)1995-11-24 x 2018-08-30Blackpool Zoo
8-Bonnie-EM
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)1994-10-29Vance (Matt) x Sid (Sue)2016-00-00Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation
9-Chaba-EM
F
captive-born years(very wrong, db errors...)1993 x 2006-11-06Melbourne Zoo
10-Tooth-LA
M
wild years(very wrong, db errors...)1992 x 2019-05-28Wuppertal Zoo
11-Matjeka-LA
F
wild years(very wrong, db errors...)1991 x 2003-08-21Lowry Park Zoo
12-Msholo-LA
M
wild years(very wrong, db errors...)1989 x 2019-07-24Atlanta Zoo
13-Mbali-LA
F
wild years(very wrong, db errors...)1989 x 2003-08-21Lowry Park Zoo
14-Donna-LA
F
wild years(very wrong, db errors...)1984 x 2003-11-24Disneys Animal Kingdom
15+ ♀ -Kiba (Chupa)-LA
F
wild 27 years(very wrong, db errors...)19822009-12-17 x 1995-04-15Nashville Zoo
16-Opal-LA
F
wild 27 years(very wrong, db errors...)1982 x 1998-02-28Colchester Zoo
17-Ellie-LA
F
wild 27 years(very wrong, db errors...)1982 x 2003-04-18Lowry Park Zoo
18-Genny C (Timba)-LA
F
wild 27 years(very wrong, db errors...)1977 x 1979-05-29Seneca Park Zoo
19+ ♀ -Shanthi-EM
F
wild 44 years(very wrong, db errors...)19762020-06-26 x 1992-11-12Smithsonian National Zoological Park
20-Kubwa-LA
F
wild 44 years(very wrong, db errors...)1976 x 1978-03-06Indianapolis Zoo
21+ ♂ -Bong Su-EM
M
wild 43 years(very wrong, db errors...)1974-08-032017-10-09 x 1977-02-01Melbourne Zoo
22+ ♀ -Idunda-LA
F
wild 37 years(very wrong, db errors...)19511988-01-16 x 1956-00-00Basel Zoo


Litterature

Brown, J.L., and Schmitt, D.L. The unusual anatomy and reproductive physiology of the elephant, and challenges with developing artificial insemination. Science India 7:9 & 10 pp 27-32 (2004).

Brown, J. L., Goritz, F, Pratt-Hawkes, N., Hermes, R., Galloway, M., Graham, L. H., Gray, C., Walker, S. L., Gomez, A., Moreland, R., Murray, S., Schmitt, D. L., Howard, J., Lehnhardt, J., Beck, B., Bellem, A., Montali, R., and Hildebrandt, T. B. Successful artificial insemination of an Asian elephant at the National Zoological Park. Zoo Biology 23[1], 45-63. 2004.

Dahl, N.J., Olson, D., Schmitt, D.L., Blasko, D.R., Kristipati, R.S., and Roser, J.F. Development of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) in the Elephant (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus) Zoo Biology 23:65-78 (2004)

In addition to his many journal publications Dr. Schmitt has also authored several book chapters, including the following:

Schmitt D. Reproductive System. In: Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants. Blackwell Publishing. In Press.

Schmitt D.L. Under the Big Top. Why elephants belong in circuses. In: Ethics of Elephants in Captivity. C. Cristen ed. John Hopkins University Publishing. In Press.

Schmitt, D. Ultrasonography of Elephants In: Health Care, Breeding and Management of Asian Elephants. Editor. Dharmeswar Das. Published by College of Veterinary Medicine, Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam, India (2003)

Schmitt, D., Probisdidea (Elephants) In: Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 5th edition. Fowler and Miller. Saunders publishing, St. Louis, Missouri. Chapter 53: 541-549. 2003

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