1997, Number 3
Preliminary results of artificial insemination in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City
PDF size: 735.04 Kb.
ABSTRACTThe giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a highly endangered wild carnivore which inhabits China. It was naturally bred for the first time at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. Eight offspring were born out of 6 parturitions, and four are still alive. Since 1990, 10 artificial inseminations (A.I.) have been performed in 2 females. Techniques used to electroejaculate, conserve and freeze the semen, as well as the one for artificial insemination are described here. Due to the peculiar features of the female's reproductive tract in giant pandas, A.I. has to be performed by means of a speculum or vaginoscope and urethral catheters. The urethra and the vagina have to be differentiated inside the vestibule which is located right next to the vulva. Usualiy fresh or frozen/thawed semen is deposited in the vagina, and an endoscope has to be used to reach the uterus trans-cervically. Up to now, none of the females have got pregnant by means of A.I. Observation of the species behaviour and some other external signs like anorexia and vulvar color and swelling have been the only way in which the reproductive cycle has been followed. Considering this study, it is now known that A.I. is difficult to be performed in giant pandas, partly, because of the reproductive tract particular features, and because there is a need to perform a technique to determine the exact time of ovulation. One possibility would be to relate steroid hormone levels in feces and urine, together with ethological observations.
Bush, M. and Montali, R.J.: Medical management of giant pandas. In: Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. Current Therapy. 3rd ed. Edited by: Fowler, M.E., 408-411. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1993.
Chaudhuri, M., Kleiman, D.G., Wildt, D.E., Bush, M., Frank, E.S. and Thau, R.B.: Urinary steroid concentrations during natural and gonadotrophin-induced oestrus and pregnancy in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). J. Reprod. Fertil., 84: 23-28 (1988).
Hall, L.W. and Clarke, K.W.: Veterinary Anaesthesia. 9th ed. Bailliere Tindall, London, 1991.
Howard, J., Donoghue, A.M., Barone, M.A., Goodlowe, K.L, Blumer, E.S., Snodgrass, K., Starnes, D., Tucker, M., Bush, M. and Wildt, D.E.: Successful induction of ovarian activity and laparoscopic intrauterine artificial insemination in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). J. Zoo. Wildl. Med.,, 23: 288-300 (1992).
Kirkwood, J.K.: Medical management of pandas in Europe. In: Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. Current Therapy. 3rd ed. Edited by: Fowler, M.E., 404-408. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1993.
Knight, J.A., Bush, M., Celma, M., Garcia-Campo del, A.L., Göltenboth, R., Hearn, J.P., Hodges, J.K., Jones, D.M., Klös, H.G., Monsalve, L., Montali, R. and Moore, H.D.M.: Veterinary aspects of reproduction in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on the Giant Panda. Berlin, Germany. 1985. 93-126. Bongo Zoologischer Garten und Aquarium Berlin. Berlin, Germany (1985).
Masui, H., Hiramatsu, H., Nose, N., Nakazato, R, Sagawa, Y., Tajima, H. and Saito, K.: Successful artificial insemination in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) at Ueno Zoo. Zoo Biol., 8: 17-26 (1989).
Monfort, S.L., Dahl, K.D., Czekala, N.M., Stevens, L., Bush, M. and Wildt, D.E.: Monitoring ovarian function and pregnancy in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) by evaluating urinary bioactive FSH and steroid metabolites. J. Reprod. Fertil., 85: 203-212 (1989).
Moore, H.D.M, Bush, M., Celma, A.L., Garcia, A.L., Hartman, T.D., Hearn, J.P., Hodges, J.K., Jones, D.M., Knight, J.A., Monsalve, L. and Wildt, D.E.: Artificial insemination in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). J. Zool., 203: 269-278 (1984).
Qingguo, Z., Zhiyong, F., Gipps, J. and Kleiman, D.: The Giant Panda Studbook 1993. International Giant Panda Conservation Symposium. Ghengdu, China. 1993. 64-109. Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens. Ghengdu, China (1993).