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Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, Germany

Lueders I.,Animal Fertility and Reproductive Research | Ludwig C.,Westfalischer Zoologischer Garten Munster GmbH | Schroeder M.,Tierarztpraxis Schonow | Mueller K.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Since it is reported to be difficult to establish Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temmincki) breeding pairs in captivity as a result of overaggressive behavior of the male, artificial insemination (AI) may be a desired option by which to achieve pregnancy. This approach was chosen in the present case involving a nulliparous, 6-yr-old female cat that was inseminated transcervically during a naturally occurring estrus, which therefore required only a single general anesthetic procedure. On day 4 of estrus behavior, the male was anesthetized and semen was collected via urethral catheterization (UC) to recover spermatozoa in high concentration followed by electro-ejaculation (EE) to obtain additional semen and seminal fluid. The fresh UC semen, totaling 180 μl in volume and containing spermatozoa showing 55-70% sperm motility, was inseminated 2.5 hr later via a commercial cat urinary catheter passed through the cervix into the uterus. Immediately afterwards, the EE fraction (100 μl) was inseminated deeply into the dorsal medial fold of the vagina. The GnRH analogue Receptal® (0.75 ml, i.m.) was given during anesthesia in an attempt to induce ovulation. Increasing fecal concentrations of progesterone after AI and a significant rise in fecal prostaglandin F2α metabolite (PGFM) concentrations (P < 0.0001) from day 45 post-AI indicated that the cat had conceived, and it produced healthy twin cubs after an 84-day gestation. © 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Konerding W.S.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Brunke J.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Schehka S.,Westfalischer Zoologischer Garten Munster GmbH | Zimmermann E.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Animal Cognition

Sound categorisation plays a crucial role for processing ecological and social stimuli in a species' natural environment. To explore the discrimination and evaluation of sound stimuli in human babies and nonhuman primates, a reciprocal habituation-dishabituation paradigm has been successfully introduced into auditory research. We applied the reciprocal paradigm for the first time to a non-primate mammal, the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri), to examine to what extent non-primate mammals share the ability to evaluate communication calls with primates. Playback stimuli were three types of communication calls, differing distinctively in context and acoustic structure, as well as two artificial control sounds, differing solely in frequency. We assessed the attention towards the playback stimuli by the latency to respond to the test stimulus. Subjects evaluated pairs of communication call types as well as the artificial playback stimuli. Attention towards the test stimuli differed significantly in strength for one pair of communication calls, with subjects dishabituating faster to one category than the other. The comparison of a second pair of communication calls did not show significant differences. Interestingly, subjects also evaluated the artificial control sounds. Findings are only partly in line with results on human and non-human primates. They provided first evidence that in non-primate mammals acoustic evaluation is not solely affected by the sound-associated context but is also linked to unusualness and acoustic cues, such as peak frequency. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Wevers D.,Robert Koch Institute | Leendertz F.H.,Robert Koch Institute | Scuda N.,Robert Koch Institute | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 5 more authors.
Virology Journal

Adenoviruses (AdV) broadly infect vertebrate hosts including a variety of primates. We identified a novel AdV in the feces of captive gorillas by isolation in cell culture, electron microscopy and PCR. From the supernatants of infected cultures we amplified DNA polymerase (DPOL), preterminal protein (pTP) and hexon gene sequences with generic pan primate AdV PCR assays. The sequences in-between were amplified by long-distance PCRs of 2 - 10 kb length, resulting in a final sequence of 15.6 kb. Phylogenetic analysis placed the novel gorilla AdV into a cluster of primate AdVs belonging to the species Human adenovirus B (HAdV-B). Depending on the analyzed gene, its position within the cluster was variable. To further elucidate its origin, feces samples of wild gorillas were analyzed. AdV hexon sequences were detected which are indicative for three distinct and novel gorilla HAdV-B viruses, among them a virus nearly identical to the novel AdV isolated from captive gorillas. This shows that the discovered virus is a member of a group of HAdV-B viruses that naturally infect gorillas. The mixed phylogenetic clusters of gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo and human AdVs within the HAdV-B species indicate that host switches may have been a component of the evolution of human and non-human primate HAdV-B viruses. © 2010 Weverset al licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Matz-Rensing K.,German Primate Center | Kunze M.,German Primate Center | Zoller M.,German Primate Center | Roos C.,German Primate Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Medical Primatology

Background A 12-year-old female western lowland gorilla died in a zoological garden in Germany after exhibiting general neurological signs. Methods Balamuthia mandrillaris was identified as causative agent by indirect immunofluorescent staining of brain sections and confirmed by PCR and respective sequencing. Results The animal suffered from a chronic progressive necrotizing amebic meningoencephalitis. Conclusion This is the first case of Balamuthia amebic encephalitis in Germany. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Pribbenow S.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Wachter B.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Ludwig C.,Westfalischer Zoologischer Garten Munster GmbH | Weigold A.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Dehnhard M.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
General and Comparative Endocrinology

In mammals, the sex hormone testosterone is the major endocrine variable to objectify testicular activity and thus reproductive function in males. Testosterone is involved in the development and function of male reproductive physiology and sex-related behaviour. The development of a reliable androgen enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) to monitor faecal testosterone metabolites (fTM) is a powerful tool to non-invasively assess the gonadal status of males. We validated an epiandrosterone EIA for male cheetahs by performing a testosterone radiometabolism study followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses and excluding possible cross-reactivities with androgenic metabolites not derived from testosterone metabolism. The physiological and biological relevance of the epiandrosterone EIA was validated by demonstrating (1) a significant increase in fTM concentrations within one day in response to a testosterone injection, (2) a significant increase in fTM concentrations within one day in response to a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection, which failed following a placebo injection, and (3) significant differences in fTM concentrations between adult male and adult female cheetahs and between adult and juvenile male cheetahs of a free-ranging population. Finally, we demonstrated stability of fTM concentrations measured in faecal samples exposed to ambient temperatures up to 72 h. Our results clearly demonstrate that the epiandrosterone EIA is a reliable non-invasive method to monitor testicular activity in male cheetahs. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Source

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