African Elephant Reproductive Conservation Initiative

Headed by Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, DVM Dipl ACZM, Director of Animal Health, and Elephant Research Physiologist Kari Morfeld, PhD, The Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium has initiated a national project to review the current reproductive health of all older African elephants in accredited zoos. The project consists of obtaining and analyzing reproductive hormone cyclicity, clinical and ultrasound assessments of reproductive health, and behavior and social interactions as they relate to reproduction in both male and female elephants. The project focuses on collecting data and analyzing it in order to create future solutions, with a long-term goal of helping to make the elephant population in AZA-accredited facilities more sustainable.

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