First Artificially Inseminated Elephant Born in Canada

July 15, 2010 Updated Jul 15, 2010 at 3:02 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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First Artificially Inseminated Elephant Born in Canada

July 15, 2010 Updated Jul 15, 2010 at 3:02 PM EDT

CAMBRIDGE, ON (WKBW/RELEASE) - Officials at African Lion Safari announced Thursday the birth of 'Jake', a healthy male Asian elephant.

'Jake' is the result of artificial insemination, the first ever in Canada.

“This birth is very important as it represents a culmination of years of research and development that helps solve some of the obstacles involved in the conservation of the Asian elephant”, states Charlie Gray, Superintendent of Elephants at African Lion Safari. “The use of this technology will assist us in increasing genetic diversity without the need to move animals to other locations.” explains Gray. “It also enables genetic material to be stored and used in the future.” African Lion Safari has been involved in this ongoing research programme in cooperation with the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Biology, Berlin.

Asian elephants are an endangered species. It is estimated that less than
35,000 survive today in the wild.

African Lion Safari maintains a herd of 16 Asian elephants; 13 elephants have been born at the wildlife park. African Lion Safari maintains the most successful breeding programme in North America for the Asian elephant.

View video of the new baby elephant at African Lion Safari's website here.