Science helping Utah elephant get pregnant

Friday , June 01, 2012 - 3:01 PM


SALT LAKE CITY-- German researchers say there's a good chance an 8,000-pound elephant named Christie is pregnant after an artificial insemination procedure at a Salt Lake City zoo.

Scientists from the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin performed the procedure earlier this week at Hogle Zoo.

The researchers initially brought sperm from a male elephant in Alabama, but that went bad when the team's flight got delayed. Their back-up donation came from an elephant in Pennsylvania.

The team tells KSLthere's about a 90 percent chance Christie is pregnant. If that's true, the zoo will welcome a new baby in a little less than two years.

Artificial insemination helped Christie conceive another baby named Zuri, who was born in 2009 and is now among the Utah zoo's most popular attractions.