Longevity of sperm cells retrieved by post mortem epididymal aspiration in wild bovids in zoo conditions
The conservation of endangered wildlife species may depend on the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and work in this field has focused on epididymal sperm conservation. Epididymes from wild Bovidae (24 individuals from 13 species) kept in captivity at the Réserve Africaine de Sigean (France) were collected quickly after death and stored at +4° C. Sperm motility, viability and morphology were regularly examined at various time intervals. Sperm motility and viability were significantly lower after several days (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the decrease in sperm motility and viability between sub-families (P > 0.05). The most represented morphology was sperm cells with a cytoplasmic droplet. Head and flagellum abnormalities and sperm cells without a flagellum increased during low-temperature storage, significantly after several days. Epididymal sperm quality appeared independent of seasonality. This work is the first report of this technique in zoo conditions with limited equipment, and the data obtained matches previously published results. About 30% of epididymal sperm survived for three days at +4° C and almost 10% survived for five days, and it should be possible to use these sperm cells in some assisted reproductive technologies several days after the animal’s death.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).