Scientist seeks deposits for elephant sperm bank

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Small deposit. Big return.

Elephants in captivity are becoming too inbred, so a German researcher has amassed a sperm bank of wild elephant semen for zoos to draw on. There’s just one small problem – sperm is not a commodity bull elephants give up lightly. Zoos across the world are facing a growing crisis – the dwindling gene pool of their elephants. In fact, one rather drained male called Jackson has sired many of the captive calves born in the United States in the last ten years. That’s why, every couple of years, Thomas Hildebrandt of Berlin’s Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) takes to the South African skies in a helicopter over the savannah, searching for bulls. Once a potentially fertile specimen has been identified, the helicopter swoops down and Hildebrandt fires a narcotic dart to stun the animal.

There then follows a simple five-minute procedure, known as electro-ejaculation…

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