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Causes for non-producing rhinos
Reproductive pathology in Sumatran Rhinos
Semen collection

Gracie stands calmly in her chute.

Baby Rudy

SOS Rhino : Research, Projects and Grants : Rhinoceros Reproduction Program : Causes for non-producing rhinos

Causes for non-producing rhinos

  Title: Effects of hormone therapy on a white rhinoceros
Project: Induction of estrus in female white rhinoceros
Location: Henry Vilas Zoo
Species: Southern White Rhinoceros (ceratotherium simum)

Rhinos involved:
Nadia "Gracie," female

Gracie was born in the wild in South Africa in 1968. She came to this country in 1975 and spent a brief time in Ferndale, Detroit until she arrived at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin on July 6, 1976. She has been with George ever since and they have never had offspring.

Methods Employed:
Target training, ultrasound, blood collection, estrus induction

Gracie did not respond to hormonal treatment (Regumate). No follicles developed, and she did not have elevation in serum or fecal hormones. She also has some abnormalities on her ovaries that may have interfered with reproduction.
A custom chute was designed with a shoulder restraint system. It uses the natural hump as resistance. Shoulder humps are peculiar only to the white rhino.

The following images are the ovary of a normally cycling rhino and the ovary of Gracie.


Gracie's right ovary has a
small mass (arrow) and no follicles
For comparison, this normal
rhino has numerous large areas.
The dark round areas are follicles

Title: Intensive management of a black rhinoceros with history of abortion
Project: Investigate and attempt to resolve abortion problem with this female
Location: Sedgwick County Zoo
Species: Eastern Black Rhinocero (diceros bicornis michaeli)

Rhinos Involved:
Bibi, female
Eugene, male

Bibi was born in the wild in 1963. She was moved in 1965 to the United States and has resided at Ferndale, Detroit and Oklahoma City until she finally found her present home at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. Eugene was born to two captive rhinos at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 25, 1980, and moved a year later to Wichita.
Methods Employed:
Collection of blood and fecal samples, ultrasonography, hormone analysis, chute restraint

After intensive management and supplements of oral progesterone, Bibi delivered a healthy male calf. Her food was chopped because of her bad teeth. Vaginal infections were treated and nutritional supplements were given.

Proud parents Bibi & Eugene

Title: Transcervical uterine infusion in the black rhinoceros
Project: Development of tools and techniques for artificial insemination in the rhinoceros
Location: Sedgwick County Zoo
Species: Eastern Black Rhinoceros (diceros bicornis)

Rhinos Involved:
Bibi, female

Methods Employed:

Ultrasonography, uterine infusion

This was one of the first known attempts to inseminate a rhino. Fluid was successfully infused into the uterus by anchoring the Foley catheter balloon in the cervix. The catheter did not completely reach the uterus.


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