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SOS Rhino : In the News: Press Releases : November 15, 2004
  SOS RHINO, A CHICAGO-BASED INTERNATIONAL RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION, IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION OF A RHINOCEROS
  15 November 2004

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - The first successful artificial insemination of a rhinoceros has been accomplished by scientists of the Berlin Leibniz-Institute for Zoo And Wildlife Research: Dr. Robert Hermes, Dr. Frank Göritz, and Dr. Thomas Hildebrand who developed the methods and instruments for the successful AI. The work is a cooperation with hormone and sedation specialists, Dr. Franz Schwarzenberger, and Dr. Chris Walzer of the University Vienna and the Zoo Salzburg, and Dr. Kristina Tomasova of Zoo Dvur Karlove in the Czech Republic.

SOS Rhino supported the research, as the organization's expertise includes technical assistance, cage-restraint systems, reproductive techniques on all species of rhino, as well as consulting on care and management of rhino.

The rhinoceros cow, Lulu, 24 years of age, lives at the zoo in Budapest. She is in her fifth month of pregnancy. Rhinos do not reproduce well in captivity. Lack of mating activity has been linked to the development of cysts and tumors in the reproductive tract of the female rhino. Shipping animals for breeding programs is costly, and some institutions lack adequate space for breeding pairs.

Artificial insemination can significantly improve the management of this species in captivity by saving genetic material for future generations and allowing transport of sperm across long distances rather than the valuable animal itself.

For over 20 years, SOS Rhino and collaborating organizations together have supported various conservation projects across the globe. SOS Rhino's projects have included the support of over $US250,000 of grants by rhino researchers the world over used for investigations into the anatomy, physiology, behavior, and reproduction of rhino species.

Click HERE to download the PDF [102k] article from Science Magazine.