02 Aug Jumbo vasectomies
Welgevonden became the first reserve where a completely successful laparoscopic vasectomy on an elephant bull was performed. Although it was performed before on elephants elsewhere, it was previously only done on one side, or other complications were encountered.
A research team from the USA did 4 successful vasectomies on 4 different bulls in 4 days on Welgevonden!
This was done as part of a research program on laparoscopic vasectomies on elephant bulls in an attempt to find alternative population control measures for small populations of elephants on small reserves.
The research is a joint program run and funded by Disney’s Wildlife Conservation Fund and the Zoological Society of San Diego. The research is still very much in an experimental phase, and techniques are still being developed, but the progress made on Welgevonden will be very valuable in the future. However, the research promises to offer a good alternative tool in the toolbox of elephant management actions in the future.