First zoo elephant pregnant with frozen sperm from wild male

epa03361776 An ultra sonic handout picture provided by the Tiergarten Schoenbrunn on 14 August 2012 shows an elephant fetus on 18 April 2012. Breeders have used frozen sperm from a wild elephant for the first time to impregnate a female living in captivity, the Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said 14 August 2012. The new freezing method could also be used with other endangered species like rhinoceros and gorillas, said Thomas Hildebrandt, a researcher at Berlin’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, who was involved in the international project. Previously, elephant breeders could only use a limited number of elephant bulls‘ living in zoos, as semen could not be frozen and had to be used within 12 hours. In Vienna, the female African elephant Tonga is now nine months pregnant and is expected to give birth in September 2013. The father lives in South Africa. Schoenbrunn Zoo chief Dagmar Schratter said that the new method was ‚a milestone for wildlife conservation and for breeding in zoos.‘ EPA/TIERGARTEN SCHOENBRUNN **MANDATORY CREDIT** HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++