MIAMI (CBSMiami) – How do you give a fully-grown Sumatran tiger a fertility test? Very carefully of course, and that’s exactly what reproductive specialists did for “Berani,” a 13-year-old tiger at Zoo Miami on Friday.
Berani was immobilized so that he could receive an examination to evaluate his fertility.READ MORE: Florida Records Highest One-Day Total Of COVID Cases With 21,000
Though Berani is the father of N’dari, the zoo’s 6-month-old cub who is presently on display and he also successfully sired an offspring in 2015, previous fertility exams indicated a very low sperm count and many of his previous attempts to sire an offspring have been unsuccessful.
Reproductive specialists from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska and the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, partnered with the Zoo Miami Animal Health team, to collect sperm from Berani so that it could be evaluated to determine the status of his fertility.
It was determined that Berani is producing viable sperm, but the density in the collected samples was low and highly diluted which could be the reason that many of his breeding attempts have been unsuccessful. The team is now awaiting the results of blood tests to determine his testosterone level. Despite having a low sperm count, the team was successful in collecting 8 straws of semen which were frozen, helping to preserve Berani’s important genetic material for use in future artificial insemination procedures.READ MORE: Royal Caribbean Expands COVID Testing Requirements
While Berani was immobilized, He also underwent a general health exam that included a dental cleaning, blood collection, urine collection and rabies vaccination as part of an overall preventative medicine program.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered and there are believed to be less than 500 left in the wild where they are found in forested areas on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Their biggest threats are habitat loss to palm oil plantations and poaching.
They are the smallest subspecies of tiger with males reaching up to 300 pounds and females closer to 200 pounds.
Berani represents a very valuable bloodline in the population that is under human care which is why every effort is being made to maintain his ability to contribute to that population.MORE NEWS: Activists Hold 'Down With The Chains' Rally At Bayfront Park Saturday