Management of Elephant Reproductive SystemMaesa Elephant Camp
When the elephants in Maesa Elephant Camp are at puberty, they will be put into a breeding program to be checked on fertility and history of delivery of the elephant baby. Then the elephants will be circulated to contact one other between the male elephant breeders and female breeders to see if the male elephant breeders will accept for breeding. When it is the perfect time, the veterinary will check the reproductive hormone or notice signs of the elephants and then start pairing of elephants for breeding. It takes about 3-4 days/time. At present, Maesa Elephant Camp exchanges cooperation with other agencies such as Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Chiang Mai University, Thai Elephant Conservation Center at Lampang, etc., in a research on artificial insemination with fresh semen and frozen semen of elephants. If the project is successful, then we believe that we can reduce a concern about extinction of elephants in Thailand at some level.
Insemination is divided into 2 experimental periods as follow: The first period – 10 elephants were inseminated by fresh semen dissolved by solution of semen having best qualification in keeping semen, 3 days per each insemination (1 day before rising up level of luteinizing hormone, on the day of rising up level of luteinizing hormone, and 1 day after that day). For each insemination the sperm having percentage moving forward not less than 60 percents, concentration of sperm cells not less than 25 million cells per milliliter, and at least 10 milliliter was used. When the female elephant was pregnant successfully from artificial insemination using frozen semen, then it was sent to be developed at the stage 2 of experiment, requiring another 10 elephants to be inseminated by the semen passed freezing with dissolved semen and substance protecting semen from freezing damage (Cyroprotectant), giving best quality of semen after heating up. Insemination was done 3 days per time (1 day before rising up level of luteinizing hormone, on the day of rising up level of luteinizing hormone, and 1 day after that day). For each insemination the sperm having percentage moving forward not less than 50 percents, concentration of sperm cells not less than 25 million cells per milliliter, and at least 10 milliliter was used.
In artificial insemination, scope for internal checking length 1.7 m was used by inserting it via vagina together with identifying position using ultrasonography via anus by using probe size 3.5 MHz to identify position of releasing semen. For injecting semen, syringe size 10 ml. was used to inject semen into special plastic pipe for artificial insemination inserted inside the device of scope. For releasing semen, it was released at the open channel of the cervix and then applying pressure from the syringe to press semen into the uterus.