First successful artificial mating in endangered Asian elephants in China


Global Times

Date Published

Chinese researchers have for the first time used artificial breeding
techniques to breed a baby Asian elephant.

The Asian elephant is a first-class national protected animal that
inhabits Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, where the cub was

A female elephant Weilai delivered the healthy 106-centimeter male cub
on March 16 after 22 months’ pregnancy, news portal
reported Wednesday.

The birth was engineered by the Asian Elephant Breeding and Rescue
Center in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.

The cub is reported to be in stable health.

“Having delivered a cub in 2010 in natural breeding, Weilai never got
pregnant again although she went into heat several times,” Bao
Mingwei, a veterinary from the center was qouted as saying by

Bao said they detected Weilai’s hormone level and chose the best
timing for her to mate with a male elephant Pailun in 2015.

Over the past ten years, employees from the Asian Elephant Breeding
and Rescue Center have successfully bred three Asian elephants through
natural mating. The birth of this cub has opened a new era in breeding
Asian elephants with the assistance of new technologies.

“We look forward to more artificially-aided breeding Asian elephant
cubs with the assistance of the cutting-edge technologies,” Bao said.

According to Bao, there are about 300 wild elephants inhabiting
Xishuangbanna, Puer and Lincang in Yunnan.