Story filed: 11:10 Monday 17th March 2003
German scientists have developed a special tool to artificially
The catheter was developed by a team of Berlin scientists, who
have already tested it on a number of rhinos.
It is made of flexible carbon fibres and has a tilted tip to match
the special anatomy of large mammals.
So far, no African rhinos have ever been artificially inseminated
But veterinary medical expert Thomas Hildebrandt says he is confident
his team will be successful "in the near future".
Some 15 zoos in Europe and northern America are cooperating with
the Berlin team.
In one of their attempts, a female rhino was impregnated, but the
pregnancy didn't last.
Hildebrandt says the tool has proved uniquely successful.
"Nobody else ever got this far and actually carried out any
insemination attempts," he said.
The tool can also be used for other large mammals like tapirs or