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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2007

Authors: Hildebrandt, TB; Hermes, R; Walzer, C; Sós, E; Molnar, V; Mezösi, L; Schnorrenberg, A; Silinski, S; Streich, J; Schwarzenberger, F; Göritz, F

Title: Artificial insemination in the anoestrous and the postpartum white rhinoceros using GnRH analogue to induce ovulation.

Source: Theriogenology. 2007; 67(9):1473-1484

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Schwarzenberger Franz
Walzer Christian

Vetmed Research Units
Institute for Medical Biochemistry
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Project(s): Reproduction Endocrinology of black, white and Indian Rhinoceroses

An integrated approach for the enhancement of reproductive performance of white rhinoceroses (Cerathotherium simum) in the EEP

The objective of this study was to develop AI and to achieve first time pregnancy in a nulliparous rhinoceros. For this, one 24-year-old irregular cycling female white rhinoceros was selected, which had never been mated. The endocrine function was monitored by faecal and serum pregnane analysis. Ultrasound determined the optimal day for AI by measuring follicle sizes of 2.0, 2.6, 3.0, 3.2 cm on days -6, -4, -1, 0 of the induced oestrous cycle, respectively. AI was performed and ovulation induced when a pre-ovulatory-sized follicle was present using GnRH analogue, deslorelin. Fresh semen was deposited in the uterine horn using a patented AI catheter overcoming the hymeneal membrane and torturous cervical folds non-surgically. Moreover, ultrasound monitoring of the uterine involution and ovarian activity on days 16, 26, 30 postpartum facilitated the induction of and the AI on the first postpartum oestrous in a rhinoceros using GnRH analogue. Two consecutive pregnancies were achieved by AI for the first time in the rhinoceros. Pregnancies were diagnosed by elevated serum and faecal 20-oxo-pregnane concentrations. In addition ultrasound measured biometric parameters of the two foetuses on days 86 and 133 of gestation. Two female calves were born after 490 and 502 days of gestation, yet one calf was stillborn. AI in rhinoceros might now be used as assisted reproduction technology tool to boost critically small captive rhinoceros populations.

Keywords Pubmed: Anestrus
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone/administration & dosage*
Insemination, Artificial/methods
Insemination, Artificial/veterinary*
Ovarian Follicle/ultrasonography
Ovulation/drug effects*
Postpartum Period
Pregnancy Outcome
Time Factors
Ultrasonography, Prenatal/veterinary

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