Monday, October 27, 2008

Lulu's Baby Doing Well. Hope for the Northern White Rhino?

Back in October 2007, we reported that Lulu, a Southern White Rhino at Budapest Zoo, was successfully inseminated from frozen sperm donated by Colchester Zoo's Simba.

Over the weekend, the Telegraph reported that, after a year long gestation period, the baby was born on Wednesday 22nd October, has been accepted by its mother Lulu, and is doing very well.

While the rhinos here are all Southern White Rhinos, the research team led by Dr Robert Hermes of the Leibniz Institute in Berlin, are optimistic that similar results could be obtained with the remaining Northern White Rhino in captivity.

Dr Hermes said...
"It enables us to bring new gene material from the wild to the rhino conservation breeding programme without having to transport the animals", said Dr Hermes. "In the future, reproduction experts can anaesthetise wild bulls, collect semen from them, and use the frozen sperm for breeding offspring in international zoos.

"This is a very important result for conservation efforts. The northern white rhino population, in particular, could benefit dramatically from this procedure as there are only three, possibly four individuals left in the wild and only eight individuals in zoos worldwide. Using this method, we hope to be able to sustain the dwindling populations of these highly endangered species."
The Budapest Zoo site has a picture of the birth taking place.

No comments: