Elephant mother Tonga, left, and half-sister Mongu stand next to the one day-old and yet unnamed female elephant calf at the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Hans Punz)
VIENNA (AP) — Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is reporting the first live birth of an elephant through artificial insemination using frozen sperm.
Zoo veterinarian Thomas Voracek calls the birth of the female calf on Wednesday evening "a milestone."
It's relatively common for elephants to be impregnated using artificial insemination, but Voracek said Thursday that using frozen sperm successfully is an important contribution to the preservation of the species. That's because the method allows sperm to be used over a longer period.
The zoo says the sperm came from Steve, a wild bull elephant at the Phinda game reserve in South Africa's Kwazulu-Natal province. The baby's mother, Tonga, has been at the zoo in Vienna since 1998.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.