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Category — Small Cat Research

Pallas’ Cats from Artificial Insemination – Why it Matters

Two weeks ago, one of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Pallas’ cats, Sophia, gave birth to three kittens – the first produced by artificial insemination (AI).   Our research progress at CREW with domestic cats and wild cat species over the past 15 years has given us the opportunity to use assisted reproductive technologies to help manage threatened felid populations.  While it is always exciting to produce the first offspring of an exotic species with some new reproductive technique, that accomplishment, in itself, is relatively meaningless if that first birth turns out to be the only birth.  At CREW, our primary goal is not “world’s firsts”, it is to develop and apply the appropriate scientific tools to help us to conserve endangered wildlife populations.  So we produced the world’s first Pallas’ cats by AI – why does that matter?

Well, first, this AI procedure was attempted with Sophia because she decided that she didn’t really like the male, Buster, who was selected as her mate. [Read more →]

June 24, 2011   3 Comments

Speaking of Ocelots

We know it is a cheetah blog but ocelots have been coming up quite a bit on the blog these days so we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight Sihil, our ambassador ocelot.  Last week was Sihil’s 10th birthday.  We celebrate all birthdays in the Cat Ambassador Program but this one was especially important because Sihil is the first endangered cat produced from a frozen embryo.  Our hardworking Cincinnati Zoo scientists at CREW, The Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, successfully produced Sihil in 2000 after five years of research and collaboration.

Here is Sihil at 5 weeks old with CREW scientist Dr. Bill Swanson, on Good Morning America.

Sihil at 6 months with Dr. Swanson.  The technology developed to “make” Sihil is now being used to assist Brazilian ocelots, which are very endangered.

Dr. Swanson and Sihil today in the show yard.

We support all cat conservation and are proud to have such a notable ambassador in our program, as well as dedicated CREW scientists.  Sihil continues to tell the CREW success story and share the plight of the wild ocelot with zoo visitors and school children.

To learn more about Sihil’s birth click here.

To learn more about the amazing conservation and research programs at CREW, click here.

August 28, 2010   No Comments