A Fertile Mind on Wildlife Conservation's Front Lines

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Science  09 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5545, pp. 1271-1272
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5545.1271

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BERLIN- Thomas Hildebrandt and his colleagues here at the Institute for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research have pioneered an innovative approach-artificial insemination (AI) technology aided by ultrasound-to impregnate half a dozen elephants, raising hope that zoos will be able to maintain their populations of these hard-to-breed creatures. Scores of zoo elephants are nearing the end of their life-spans, while recent laws have made it nearly impossible to import endangered species from the wild. Without AI, say several experts, zoo elephants could all but disappear within 2 decades.