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Walzer C.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Petit T.,Zoo de la Palmyre | Stalder G.L.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Horowitz I.,Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan | And 2 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2014

In a prospective, clinical, surgery study we report here for the first time, in detail, on the surgical castration of 10 captive adult male common hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibius). The successful procedures, a species-specific modification of standard equine castration techniques, provide valuable insight into the spatially dynamic nature of the common hippopotamus testis. The use of ultrasonography to locate the testis before and during the procedures and species-specific positioning during surgery greatly facilitated this distinctive procedure. Additionally, this surgical method provides an important additional tool for captive management of the common hippopotamus. Castration of individual males not only facilitates population control but can potentially also be employed to limit intermale aggression. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Saragusty J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Walzer C.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | Petit T.,Zoo de la Palmyre | Stalder G.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna | And 2 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2010

Knowledge concerning reproduction in common hippopotamus is scarce and in particular very little is known about male reproductive physiology and sperm cryopreservation. Testes were obtained from nine castrated bulls and sperm extracted from the epididymides of eight of these individuals. Mean ± SEM values of reproductive parameters were: testicular weight (including epididymis and tunicas)-275.9 ± 54.1 g, total sperm motility-88.1 ± 4.2%, total cells extracted-11.0 ± 3.6 × 109, intact acrosome-87.7 ± 1.8%, intact sperm morphology-51.6 ± 4.1%, and, for 3 individuals, hypoosmotic swelling test for membrane integrity-83.3 ± 1.8%. Chilled storage extenders tested were Berliner Cryomedium (BC), Biladyl®, modification of Kenney modified Tyrode's medium (KMT), and Human Sperm Refrigeration Medium (HSRM). Extender had significant effect on post-dilution motility and motility and intact morphology after 4h and 24h at 4°C (P ≤ 0.007 for all). Berliner Cryomedium and HSRM were superior to Biladyl® and KMT. Freezing extenders tested were BC with either 6% dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO), or 5%, 7%, or 10% glycerol. Post-thaw motility was < 5% in 3/7 bulls in all extenders. When frozen in BC with 6% Me2SO, one bull had 15% post-thaw motility and 3/7 had 20 to 60%. In glycerol, 3/7 had 15-30% post-thaw motility in 5%, 2/7 in 7%, and 1/7 in 10%. The extender had significant effect on post-chilling motility (P = 0.008), post-thaw morphology (P = 0.016), and motility 30 min after thawing (P = 0.015). Berliner Cryomedium with 6% Me2SO or 7% glycerol were the freezing extenders of choice. Information obtained in this study allows initiation of cryobanking of sperm from the common hippopotamus which is of particular importance for genetically valuable individuals. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Saragusty J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Shavit-Meyrav A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Yamaguchi N.,University of Oxford | Yamaguchi N.,Qatar University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Lion (Panthera leo) populations have dramatically decreased worldwide with a surviving population estimated at 32,000 across the African savannah. Lions have been kept in captivity for centuries and, although they reproduce well, high rates of stillbirths as well as morbidity and mortality of neonate and young lions are reported. Many of these cases are associated with bone malformations, including foramen magnum (FM) stenosis and thickened tentorium cerebelli. The precise causes of these malformations and whether they are unique to captive lions remain unclear. To test whether captivity is associated with FM stenosis, we evaluated 575 lion skulls of wild (N = 512) and captive (N = 63) origin. Tiger skulls (N = 276; 56 captive, 220 wild) were measured for comparison. While no differences were found between males and females or between subadults and adults in FM height (FMH), FMH of captive lions (17.36±3.20 mm) was significantly smaller and with greater variability when compared to that in wild lions (19.77±2.11 mm). There was no difference between wild (18.47±1.26 mm) and captive (18.56±1.64 mm) tigers in FMH. Birth origin (wild vs. captive) as a factor for FMH remained significant in lions even after controlling for age and sex. Whereas only 20/473 wild lions (4.2%) had FMH equal to or smaller than the 5th percentile of the wild population (16.60 mm), this was evident in 40.4% (23/57) of captive lion skulls. Similar comparison for tigers found no differences between the captive and wild populations. Lions with FMH equal to or smaller than the 5th percentile had wider skulls with smaller cranial volume. Cranial volume remained smaller in both male and female captive lions when controlled for skull size. These findings suggest species- and captivity-related predisposition for the pathology in lions. © 2014 Saragusty et al.

Horowitz I.H.,Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan | Yanco E.,Tel Aviv Ramat Gan Zoological Center | Nadler R.V.,Tel Aviv Ramat Gan Zoological Center | Anglister N.,Tel Aviv Ramat Gan Zoological Center | And 6 more authors.
Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2014

A free-ranging Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) found lying in a feeding station in the Golan Heights region of Israel was admitted to the Israeli Wildlife Hospital in Ramat Gan, Israel. The adult female vulture presented weak, cachectic, and standing on her tarsometatarsi. She had green diarrhea on her feathers and around her cloaca, a distended crop, and dropped head. X-ray images showed a circular radio-opaque object in the proventriculus and gastric lavage resulted in the regurgitation of a 9 mm lead bullet. The vulture was diagnosed with suspected lead toxicity, which was later confirmed with a blood lead level of 804.8 μg/dL. On day 7, a blood assay showed a lead level of 341.7 μg/dL, an overall marked decrease though still extremely toxic. Crop stasis and distension persisted despite chelation therapy and supportive care and the vulture died 7 days after hospital admission, prior to ingluviotomy. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the most toxic case of lead poisoning discovered and published to date of a Griffon Vulture in the Palearctic Zone. © 2014, Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine. All rights reserved.

Merbl Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Shilo-Benjamini Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Chai O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Chamisha Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2014

Two wild adult Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) were captured and admitted to the Hebrew University Veterinary Teaching Hospital with various neurologic signs, including alerted mentation, head tilt, and pathologic nystagmus. The lesion in the central nervous system was localized to the forebrain in one ibex and to the cerebellum of the other. Both ibex's were diagnosed with brain cyst using computed tomography (CT). Craniectomy was performed to remove the cysts, and both animals returned to their natural environment after a rehabilitation period. Parasitologic examination revealed cysts of Taenia multiceps coenurus. This is the first report to describe the neurologic signs, CT findings, surgical procedure, and follow-up postsurgery information in wild Capra nubiana. © American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

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