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CCMB's non-invasive artificial insemination bears fawn

Our Regional Bureau  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

With the birth of Spotty, in Hyderabad, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have been successful in the first artificial insemination of a wild animal in India.
The fawn was born on March 14, 2006. This success could form the basis for future attempts to increase the number of other endangered deer and other animals in the country. While the technique of artificial insemination is routinely practiced on domestic animals, it has not been applied to wild animals.
Speaking to mediapersons, Lalji Singh, director of CCMB, said, "The uniqueness of the insemination is that it is non-invasive. This assisted reproduction technique used on spotted deer can serve as the model for the other critically endangered deer in India."
The technique can help in assisted reproduction of birds such as white-back vulture (gyps bengalensis) that has seen an alarming 98 per cent decline in its population, Singh said.
Surgical intra-uterine insemination, an invasive procedure, has also led to the birth of young ones of cheetah, leopard, puma, wild cat and deer in other countries. But non-surgical intra-vaginal insemination, which is a non-invasive procedure, is more preferred by wildlife biologists.
India joins Australia and the United States, the only other two countries to have achieved the reproduction of a fawn using the non-invasive procedure.
A total of about Rs 14 crore was spent on the effort conducted in collaboration with the department of biotechnology, New Delhi, Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi, department of biotechnology, Andhra Pradesh, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
The effort is part of a long-term project of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LACONES) of CCMB.

First Published: Wed, March 29 2006. 00:00 IST