Saturday, 07. December 2013 - 01:12
14. 08. 12. - 13:00
Astonishing scans of the first unborn baby elephant to be created by artificial insemination using frozen sperm from a male living in the wild have been released by zoo officials in Vienna, Austria.
The tiny tusker's trunk and distinctive African elephant ears can be seen clearly in the ultrasound scan of the foetus taken by experts at the Schonbrunn Zoo.
The scan - taken in April - shows the foetus is just over four inches (10.6cm) long. Experts say it now measures around eight inches (20cm).
Mum Tonga, 26, is already nine months into her 22-month pregnancy created using sperm came from a wild bull elephant in South Africa.
A spokeswoman for the zoo said: "This is something very special."
"If this calf is born it will be the first time worldwide that this works with frozen sperm," she added.
Experts believe that if the technique is successful it will inject massive new gene pools into world wide captive breeding programmes.
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