ASSISTED REPRODUCTION IN WILD ANIMALS
Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-Up (LOPU) is an efficient method for sourcing oocytes from wild animal species either for in vitro embryo production or for cloning programs as part of game farming and conservation efforts.
South African Wildlife Experience
We successfully applied LOPU technology for the collection of oocytes from wild Springboks, Blesboks, Gemsboks (Oryx) and Blue Wildebeest. These oocytes (avg. 7/donor) were then matured in vitro and used as recipient cytoplasts in the first attempt to reconstruct embryos from these species by means of SCNT (cloning) using cell lines from extremely valuable animals (including Saddleback Blesboks and Golden Wildebeest).
Wild Feline Experience
This work has been in partnership with Novagen and in collaboration with Wildlife Institutions (NEX, Corredor das Oncas) and Universities (USP) in Brazil. This initial work led to the development of Reprocon, an NGO dedicated to the application of assisted reproduction technologies in conservation programs. The goal is to develop reliable and consistent in vitro production procedures to be applied in conservation efforts targeting endangered feline species in Brazil. So far, we have conducted LOPU in >20 Jaguars and >20 Pumas with an average of >20 oocytes/donor.