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Saving Endangered Wolves Via Artificial Insemination

While the Wolf Conservation Center has been a vocal and visible advocate in trying to secure protections for critically endangered wolf species, the WCC also pursues extraordinary conservation measures to maximize the genetic health of the wolves entrusted to our care.

The WCC employs reproductive tools including, semen collection and gamete cryopreservation to aid in maintaining diversity within a species that was at one time extinct in the wild.

Today, the WCC took a further step in reproductive research by artificially inseminating Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately known as Belle) using sperm that was preserved by freezing. The nonsurgical transcervical insemination was performed at the WCC under the leadership of reproductive specialists Soon Hon Cheong of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell’s Dr. Anna Mitchell DVM, Norwalk Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Charlie Duffy, VMD, and Christine Wilson of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center.
We won’t know the outcome of the procedure until early April; the gestation period for a wolf is 63 days.

In the meantime, enormous thanks to our reproductive team, and most of all to Belle, for making a very personal and valuable contribution to the genetic health of her rare species!