Three healthy Pallas’ Cat kittens (two males and one female) were born on June 8th, 2011 at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden following a laparoscopic oviductal artificial insemination (AI) procedure conducted by scientists from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW). This pregnancy and birth are the first ever in Pallas’ Cats from artificial insemination.
The AI procedure was performed using laparoscopy or minimally invasive surgery combined with a new oviductal insemination technique for cats that was developed at CREW. The Zoo’s female Pallas’ Cat, Sophia, was treated with two hormones to stimulate ovarian follicle growth and ovulation and then was inseminated in both oviducts with semen collected from the Zoo’s male Pallas’ Cat, Buster. Three healthy kittens were born following a 69 day gestation. The kittens, now 9 weeks of age, are being raised by their mother in an off-exhibit enclosure.