Artificially conceived lions cubs born in South Africa for first time
Researchers at the University of Pretoria have successfully used artificial insemination to birth two lion cubs, Isabel and Victor.
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Researchers at the University of Pretoria have successfully used artificial insemination to birth two lion cubs.
According to AFP, researchers collected sperm from a male lion and blood samples from a lioness to determine her hormone levels.
After the blood samples indicated it was the correct time, she was artificially inseminated.
In the past, lions would have been moved out of their habitat. Using the new method, the lioness was able to stay in her current environment.
Scientists are hoping this new method can be repeated in order to save the wild lion population in Africa which has been declining over the last two decades.
Lions in 26 African nations are extinct, while those in the wild have plummeted by 43 percent over the past 20 years, according to the International Union for Conservation Nation.
Animal welfare groups however argue that lion breeding in South Africa revolves around tourism rather than conservation.
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