SEATTLE (AP) — The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle says one of its Asian elephants was artificially inseminated Wednesday to help preserve the species.
It will be about four months before the zoo knows whether Chai is pregnant. She would deliver a calf in 22 months.
The 32-year-old was the mother of Hansa, who was born at the zoo in 2000 and died six years later of elephant herpes virus.
The elephant curator at the zoo, Bruce Upchurch, says the 15-minute insemination procedure was conducted in a medical chute where the zoo’s three elephants get routine care. He says Chai enjoys the personal attention from keepers and buckets of favorite treats such as cantaloupe and carrots to pass the time.
The semen came from a 13-year-old bull elephant at Albuquerque Biological Park Zoo.