Preserving Africa´s last great tuskers, South Africa
Poaching dramatically increases the pressure on individual elephants with the iconic large tusks. These are breeding bulls in their prime. Removing these bulls out of the population allows males with smaller or no tusks to breed more frequently and thus pass their genes to a greater number of offspring.The ejaculates of bulls with large tusks were frozen in liquid nitrogen using a recently developed (through IEF funding) low-tech, field- friendly method. Viable, cryopreserved spermatozoa is stored at the National Zoological Gardens Biomaterial Bank in South Africa. Artificial insemination with frozen- thawed semen has been successful in African elephants, thus, the “tusker genetics” may be revived in the future, should the iconic bulls become extinct in the wild.