Artificial insemination

Definition of Artificial insemination

From the elephant glossary Section: reproduction

Photo © Daryl Hoffman, Houston Zoo
Photo © Daryl Hoffman, Houston Zoo

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

Dr. Dennis Schmitt, 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 Research (IZW)'>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 Zoo’s female African elephants, Kubwa and Ivory, became pregnant through artificial insemination (AI). They were the world’s 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.

57 Elephants born through artificial insemination

Index Sex Species Name Id Origin Arrival Location
1♂ LA -Malik-

EEP id: 202405
Born captive-born 2024-03-14 x Maya Alive 2024-03-14 Bioparc Valencia
2♀ LA -Kirkja-

SSP id: 0000?
Born captive-born 2024-02-17 x Renee Alive 2024-02-17 Toledo Zoo
3♂ LA -Jabari-

SSP id: 0000?
Born captive-born 2023-09-04 x Zahara Alive 2023-09-04 Indianapolis Zoo
4♀ LA -Makena-

EEP id: 202203?
Born captive-born 2022-11-09 x Matla Alive 2022-11-09 Bioparc Valencia
5♂ EM -Frankie-

Local birth nr: 5
SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2021-06-17 Hank x Phoebe Alive 2021-06-17 Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
6♂ LA -Zyqarri-

EEP id: 202104?
Born captive-born 2021-06-05 x Kali Alive 2021-06-05 Zlin Lesna-Got Zoo
7♀ EM -Winnie-

SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2021-03-10 Bodhi x Tupelo Alive 2021-03-10 Houston Zoo
8♀ LA -Kimana-

Local birth nr: 13
EEP id: 202005
Born captive-born 2020-04-20 Abu x Tika Alive 2020-04-20 Wuppertal Zoo
9† ♂ LA -Fitz-

SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2019-09-02 Jack (Jackson) x Mikki Dead 2023-05-302019-09-02 Louisville Zoo
10† ♀ LA -Kibali-

EEP id: 201902
Born captive-born 2019-07-13 x Numbi Dead 2021-07-092019-07-13 Vienna Zoo
11† ♀ EM -Unnamed-

EEP id: 201901
Born captive-born < 1 2019-01-12 Raja x Geetha Dead 2019-01-162019-01-12 Whipsnade Wild Animal Park
12† ♀ LA -stillborn-

EEP id: 201803? (unconfirmed)
Born captive-born < 1 2018-07-01 x Zola Dead 2018-07-012018-07-01 Zlin Lesna-Got Zoo
13† ♂ EM -Thorn-

SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2018-05-04 Samson x Rozie (Rozana) Dead 2021-12-252018-05-04 Albuquerque Biological Park
14† ♀ LA -Binti-

Local birth nr: 1
EEP id: 201801
Born captive-born < 1 2018-01-20 x Duna Dead 2018-01-222018-01-20 Rhenen Zoo
15† ♀ LA -stillborn-

EEP id: 201602
Born captive-born < 1 2016-04-19 Niko x Goni (Beule) Dead 2016-04-192016-03-00 Amneville Zoo (Coulange Zoo)
16♂ LA -Sutton-

EEP id: 201400
Born captive-born 2014-05-05 Steve (wild) x Five Alive 2023-05-10 Noahs Ark Zoo Farm
17♀ LA -Iqhwa-

EEP id: 201304?
Born captive-born 2013-09-04 Steve (wild) x Tonga Alive 2013-09-04 Vienna Zoo
18♂ EM -Bowie-

SSP id: 758
Born captive-born 2013-08-05 Samson x Bluebonnet Alive 2022-11-21 Oklahoma City Zoo
19♂ EM -Namsai-

EEP id: 201308
Born captive-born 2013-07-27 Raja x Bua Alive 2021-05-11 Heidelberg Zoo
20♂ LA -Rungwe-

EEP id: 20089
Born captive-born 2012-07-20 Limbo x NDala Alive 2021-10-07 Gyor Zoo
21† ⚪ LA -noname-

Born captive-born < 1 2012-07-06? x MBili (Mbli) Dead 2012-07-06?2012-07-06 Beauval Zoo
22† ♀ LA -Nyah-

Born captive-born 2012-06-28 Jack (Jackson) x Ivory Dead 2019-03-192012-06-28 Indianapolis Zoo
23† ♀ EM -stillborn-

EEP id: 201202
Born captive-born < 1 2012-03-25 Raja x Tara Dead 2012-03-252012-03-25 Twycross Zoo
24♂ LA -Jabali-

SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2011-08-25 Ali x Vasha Alive 2011-08-24 Disneys Animal Kingdom
25† ♀ LA -Kalina-

SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2011-07-20 Jack (Jackson) x Kubwa Dead 2019-03-262011-07-20 Indianapolis Zoo
26† ♀ EM -miscarriage-

EEP id: 201100
Born captive-born < 1 2011 Raja x Chandrika Dead 20112011-00-00 Woburn Safari Park
27♂ EM -Pathi Harn-

Local birth nr: 2
ASMP id: 71
Born captive-born 2010-03-10 Bong Su x Porntip Alive 2015-04-24 Taronga Dubbo Western Plains Zoo
28† ⚪ LA -stillborn-

Born captive-born < 1 2010-02-24 Jack x Opal Dead 2010-02-242010-02-24 Colchester Zoo
29♀ EM -Mali-

Local id: B00002 ASMP id: 70
Born captive-born 2010-01-16 Bong Su x Dokkoon Alive 2010-01-15 Melbourne Zoo
30♂ EM -Jake-

SSP id: 687
Born captive-born 2009-11-02 Rex (Bimbo, Barney) x Natasha Alive 2018-10-08 Denver Zoo
31♀ LA -Zuri-

SSP id: 567
Born captive-born 2009-08-10 Jack (Jackson) x Christi Alive 2023-10-19 Kansas City Zoo
32† ♀ LA -Lil Girl-

SSP id: 568
Born captive-born < 1 2009-07-06 Jack (Jackson) x Asali Dead 2009-07-072009-07-06 Memphis Zoo
33† ⚪ LA -fetal death-

SSP id: NA
Born captive-born < 1 2008-10-28 Jack (Jackson) x Dottie Dead 2008-10-282008-10-27 Atlanta Zoo
34† ♀ EM -miscarriage-

SSP id: 731
Born captive-born < 1 2008-08-14 Sneezy x Chai Dead 2008-08-142008-08-14 Seattle Zoo (Woodland Park Zoo)
35♂ LA -Tsavo-

SSP id: 562
Born captive-born 2008-06-28 Jack (Jackson) x Moyo Alive 2015-11-13 Disneys Animal Kingdom
36† ♂ LA -Scotty-

SSP id: 551
Born captive-born 2007-03-18 Jack (Jackson) x Mikki Dead 2010-05-122007-03-18 Louisville Zoo
37♀ LA -Zahara-

SSP id: 548
Born captive-born 2006-08-31 Ali x Ivory Alive 2006-08-31 Indianapolis Zoo
38† ♂ LA -stillborn-

SSP id: 547
Born captive-born < 1 2006-02-10 x Genny C (Timba) Dead 2006-02-102006-02-25 Seneca Park Zoo
39† ♂ LA -Thabo-Umasai-

EEP id: 20041
Born captive-born 2006-02-04 Tembo x Drumbo Dead 2017-07-032011-08-11 Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
40♂ EM -Gabi (Boon-Chooi)-

EEP id: 200515
Born captive-born 2005-12-11 Emmett (Tundi) x Kwunjai (Tamar) Alive 2010-10-06 Gaziantep Zoo
41♂ LA -Kedar-

SSP id: 545
Born captive-born 2005-10-18 Bulwagi x Kubwa Alive 2005-10-18 Indianapolis Zoo
42♂ LA -Tamani-

SSP id: 544
Born captive-born 2005-10-17 Bulwagi x Ellie Alive 2015-10-05 Kansas City Zoo
43† ♂ LA -Noname-

SSP id: 543
Born captive-born < 1 2005-05-13 Bulwagi x Ibala Dead 2005-05-132005-05-13 Disneys Animal Kingdom
44† ♂ EM -stillborn-

EEP id: 200405
Born captive-born < 1 2004-07-01 Emmett (Tundi) x Delhi Dead 2004-07-012004-07-01 Usti nad Labem Zoo
45† ♂ LA -stillborn-

SSP id: 524
Born captive-born < 1 2003-11-24 Bulwagi x Robin Dead 2003-04-072003-11-24 Disneys Animal Kingdom
46† ♂ LA -Tufani-

SSP id: 538
Born captive-born 2003-05-22 Maclean (Mac) x Moyo Dead 2014-01-002013-05-15 National Elephant Center U.S.A.
47† ♀ EM -Xixi-

Born captive-born 2003-04-30 Akun x Jing Sheng Dead 2005-12-262003-04-30 Xian Qinling Zoological Park
48♂ LA -Louie-

SSP id: 526
Born captive-born 2003-04-30 Bulwagi x Renee Alive 2021-06-03 North Carolina Zoo
49† ♀ LA -stillborn-

SSP id: 523
Born captive-born < 1 2003-03-21 Bulwagi x Misha Dead 2003-03-212003-03-21 Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Six Flags Marine World)
50† ♂ LA -Kito-

EEP id: 20013
Born captive-born 2002-12-06 Tembo x Tanya Dead 2017-03-132009-06-03 Dvur Kralove Zoo
51† ♀ LA -stillborn-

SSP id: 522
Born captive-born < 1 2002-09-28 Solomon x Tika Dead 2002-09-282002-09-28 Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Six Flags Marine World)
52† ♂ LA -stillborn-

SSP id: 521
Born captive-born < 1 2002-07-27 Bulwagi x Rafiki Dead 2002-07-272002-07-27 Toledo Zoo
53♂ EM -Kandula-

SSP id: 538
Born captive-born 2001-11-25 Calvin (Chanda) x Shanthi Alive 2015-10-00 Oklahoma City Zoo
54♂ LA -Abu-

EEP id: 20004
Born captive-born 2001-04-25 Tembo x Sabi Alive 2023-05-25 Vienna Zoo
55† ♀ LA -Amali-

SSP id: 514
Born captive-born 2000-03-06 Dale x Kubwa Dead 2003-06-032000-03-06 Indianapolis Zoo
56† ⚪ LA -miscarriage-

Born captive-born x Gina Dead 2012-03-17 Memphis Zoo
57⚪ EM -unknown-

Born captive-born x Pang Sao Alive 2009-00-00 Maesa Elephant Camp

23 elephants mentioned in the database with association to AI

Index Sex Species Name Id Origin Arrival Location
1♀ EM -Kanlaya-

ASMP id: 80? (unconfirmed)
Born captive-born 2018-06-14 Putra Mas x Porntip Alive 2018-06-14 Taronga Dubbo Western Plains Zoo
2♂ EM -Ongard-

Local id: B00566 ASMP id: 72 SSP id: 00
Born captive-born 2010-09-10 Bong Su x Kulab Alive 2018-05-09 Zoo Miami (Miami Metro Zoo)
3♂ EM -Barack (Rocky)-

SSP id: 656
Born captive-born 2009-01-19 Doc x Bonnie Alive 2012-00-00 Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation
4♂ EM -AI-

Born captive-born 2007-03-07 Ngam x Kod Alive 2007-03-07 Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC)
5♂ EM -Albert-

SSP id: 516
Born captive-born 1998-11-29 Calvin (Chanda) x Lilly (Israela) Alive 2003-11-19 Albuquerque Biological Park
6♂ EM -Samson-

SSP id: 514
Born captive-born 1998-05-04 Calvin (Chanda) x Kitty (Mookee) Alive 2018-04-10 Portland Zoo (Metro Washington Park Zoo)
7♀ EM -Noor Jahan-

EEP id: 9508
Born captive-born 1995-11-24 x Alive 2018-08-30 Blackpool Zoo
8♀ EM -Bonnie-

SSP id: 380
Born captive-born 1994-10-29 Vance (Matt) x Sid (Sue) Alive 2021-04-00 White Oak Conservation
9♀ EM -Dokkoon-

Local id: A60410 ASMP id: 58 CHIP:11-6736-646A
Born captive-born 1993 x Alive 2006-11-06 Melbourne Zoo
10♂ LA -Tooth-

EEP id: 9208
Born wild 1992 x Alive 2024-06-07 Bioparc Valencia
11♀ LA -Matjeka-

SSP id: 537
Born wild 1991 x Alive 2003-08-21 Lowry Park Zoo
12♂ LA -Msholo-

SSP id: 535
Born wild 1989 x Alive 2019-07-24 Atlanta Zoo
13♀ LA -Mbali-

SSP id: 536
Born wild 1989 x Alive 2003-08-21 Lowry Park Zoo
14♀ LA -Donna-

SSP id: 469
Born wild 1984 x Alive 2003-11-24 Disneys Animal Kingdom
15♀ LA -Ellie-

SSP id: 236
Born wild 1982 x Alive 2003-04-18 Lowry Park Zoo
16† ♀ LA -Kiba (Chupa)-

SSP id: 483
Born wild 1982 x Dead 2009-12-171995-04-15 Nashville Zoo
17♀ LA -Opal-

EEP id: 8312
Born wild 1982 x Alive 1998-02-28 Colchester Zoo
18♀ LA -Genny C (Timba)-

SSP id: 153
Born wild 1977 x Alive 1979-05-29 Seneca Park Zoo
19† ♀ EM -Shanthi-

SSP id: 165
Born wild 1976 x Dead 2020-06-261992-11-12 Smithsonian National Zoological Park
20♀ LA -Kubwa-

SSP id: 143
Born wild 1976 x Alive 1978-03-06 Indianapolis Zoo
21† ♂ EM -Bong Su-

Local id: 770004 ASMP id: 48
Born wild 1974-08-03 x Dead 2017-10-091977-02-01 Melbourne Zoo
22† ♂ EM -Shenka-

Born wild 1959 x Dead 2007-12-231993-09-14 Circus Alberti
23† ♀ LA -Idunda-

Born wild 1951 x Dead 1988-01-161956-00-00 Basel Zoo

Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2024). Artificial insemination. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications
  • 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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