2 cheetah cubs born via IVF for 1st time at Columbus Zoo

first_imgtracielouise/iStock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Two cheetah cubs have been born via in vitro fertilization to a surrogate mother for the first time ever at the Columbus Zoo.The cubs, one male and one female, and their surrogate mother, Izzy, are doing well after the birth on Feb. 19, the zoo’s vice president of animal health, Dr. Randy Junge, and president and CEO, Tom Stalf, told ABC News.Izzy, a first-time mother, is providing “great care” to the cubs, according to the zoo. They are being monitored closely through a remote camera 24 hours a day, Stalf said.While the cubs’ biological mother is 9-year-old Kibibi, they were born via surrogate because cheetahs’ ability to reproduce after the age of 8 declines significantly.“The assumption was, as an older female, she would be less likely to carry a pregnancy to completion,” Junge said.Kibibi was chosen as their biological mother because her bloodline is “already well represented in the genetic registry, according to the zoo.”The cubs are “doing great” and continuing to gain weight, Stalf said.Currently, the male cub weighs 480 grams, roughly 1 pound, and the female weighs 350 grams, according to the zoo. They have not yet been named.Their eyes, ears, mouth and heartbeat were checked during a brief exam on Monday, Junge said, adding that “everything looks good.”It will be a few months before they will be displayed at the zoo’s cheetah exhibit.The cubs’ birth was a result of careful planning between the Columbus Zoo, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.The IVF procedure began in November when Kibibi and her sister, Bella, first began receiving hormone injections to stimulate follicle development. Once the eggs were extracted, they were fertilized using thawed semen from the cubs’ father, a 3-year-old named Slash from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and an ultrasound in December revealed that Izzy was pregnant with two fetuses.The procedure had been attempted twice before but was not successful until the third try, Junge said.Izzy and Kibibi are two of the zoo’s “ambassador cheetahs” and have formed “extremely close bonds” with their caretakers, allowing them to perform ultrasounds, x-rays and other medical procedures when needed, according to the zoo.Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. There are only about 7,000 cheetahs left in the world.Jason Ahistus, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Carnivore Curator, described the accomplishment as a “big win for the cheetah.”“It really opens the door to many new opportunities that can help the global cheetah population,” Ahistus said in a statement. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Colombian security forces score with “Sword of Honor”

first_img BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Thirty-three guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) died and five were apprehended in a police-military operation during the early morning hours on March 21 in the western department of Arauca, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón told reporters during a press conference. The raid was part of the operation “Sword of Honor,” the government’s plan to end terrorism nationwide, Pinzón added. “This is a direct attack on their logistics and their operating capacity,” Pinzón said. “This is, without a doubt, one of the hardest strikes we’ve had in the past five years.” Among the terrorists taken into custody was Juan Vicente Carvajal, who was second in command of the FARC’s 10th front and is sought for extradition by the United States, where he’ll face narco-trafficking charges. President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the success of the operation, which came a week after FARC terrorists killed 11 soldiers in the same area. “It’s a huge blow against the FARC in Arauca where they killed our soldiers,” he tweeted. Military troops seized 24 rifles and several machine guns, mortars, ammunition and other types of firearms during the raid. “Young people enlisted in the guerrillas should know that they still [have] the possibility to leave,” Pinzón said. “But if they insist on being part of that terrorist organization, they should rest assured that the only thing they will find is the blunt response of public forces, acting tirelessly 24-7, 365 days a year.” Three other rebels were killed in Arauca on March 21 and four were captured in separate confrontations with the army, Pinzón said, without offering more details. – Eduardo L. Hooker contributed to this piece. By Dialogo March 22, 2012last_img read more

University Ridge offers lots to public, Badgers

first_imgNot everyone gets the chance to play between the white lines at Camp Randall Stadium. Not everyone is fortunate enough to shoot a free throw at the Kohl Center. Everyone, however, does get the opportunity to keep it straight and on the short grass at University Ridge Golf Course. University Ridge is located just over seven miles from campus, and allows one and all a little taste of what Badger golf is really like.The Ridge is a public course, and one that should not be passed upon when looking for golf around the Madison area. URGC was constructed by worldly renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., eventually opening to the public in 1991. Jones had much to work with, as the current terrain was formed through glacier movement thousands of years ago. It is the glaciers that were partially responsible for the naming of the course, University Ridge, as hills and valleys are prevalent throughout.Recently, University Ridge went through a meaningful renovation. This renovation added just less than 400 yards of length to the championship tees, a large upgrade from the previous distance of 6,888 yards. One reason for the renovation was for the course itself, and to attract more relevant outings and tournaments. This scheme has worked thus far, as URGC will host the Wisconsin Open in 2015.Also, the renovation adds difficulty for the state-bound golfers in high school competition each year. Since 1994, University Ridge has been the site for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association high school state championships. This stands for both the boys’ and girls’ competitions with the girls’ contest held in the fall, and the boys’ in late spring. University Ridge is a course for all types of players, but more importantly, it is the course for the Wisconsin Badgers.University Ridge has been the home course for the Badgers throughout the tenure of current men’s head coach, Jim Schuman. Though his competitive golfing days are over as a player, Schuman is able to keep the competitive instincts flowing while taking a business-like approach to his coaching position. Schuman went into detail regarding all that University Ridge offers to his players, describing it as one of the best college courses in the country. “The university is unbelievably lucky to have a course such as University Ridge”, Schuman said.The renovation project was also headed by URGC designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. and was completed in 2008. In total, the advancement owned a price tag of $3.1 million and was broken into various parts. A spacious, 33-acre, new practice facility is one of the main components to the improvement. Within the practice facility there are four practice greens exclusive to the Badger golf teams, leaving one extra green for the general public. The driving range was also redesigned and enlarged to accommodate UW golfers.Fourteen of the 18 holes at the Ridge were lengthened, increasing the difficulty for the Badgers. Schuman placed great importance on the lengthening of the course.“The renovation of University Ridge, in terms of its length, going from 6,900 yards to 7,300 yards, is giving us a lot more accurate picture about what we might see on the road, relative to scores, than maybe when it played at 6,800 or 6,900 yards,” Schuman said. “We went from probably a two and a half to a three shot differential, based on what we would see in qualifying, to about a one to one and a half shot differential.”Besides the constant challenges that the course provides for Badger golfers, URGC also presents the Badgers with exclusive club storage.Included in the renovation is a 250-acre plot that was originally destined for a second 18-hole course, giving UW a future outlook of golf at University Ridge. The improvement has made the difference for University Ridge when compared to the other neighboring golf courses; in which many have already offered their golf services to the Badgers. Though not located on campus, URGC has Schuman sold. “University Ridge, right now, is really providing everything we need to get prepared for the events we’re playing,” he said.The par-72 course can speak for itself, as it maintains a 74.9 slope rating. The Ridge was also rated sixth by Golfweek in its 2010 Best Campus Courses. Though Badger golf isn’t always affiliated with top 10 polls nationally, their home course, University Ridge, certainly is.last_img read more