Przewalski’s horse is a rare animal housed by Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
The horse is considered rare because of its genes. It is the seventh most genetically valuable horse in the American Breeding program. There are just 1,500 horses like him around the world and all are taken care by different zoological institutions.
So, if this horse was such a rare animal, why the heck did they perform a vasectomy on the poor animal in the first place in 1999?
It seems that the horse was horsing around too much at that time. He was having a wild time with all the mares in his vicinity and the institution that housed him at that time decided that enough was enough because they just did not have the resources to take care of and bring up Przewalski’s horse’s foals. If the horse would have gone on any longer, he would have bankrupted his caretakers, and therefore they made him undergo a vasectomy procedure.
Many years later scientists woke up to the fact that they needed Przewalski’s horse to make babies once again because that was the only way to ensure that the world gets a genetically diverse population of horses.
They decided to perform a vasectomy reversal on Przewalski’s horse.
The vets examined the horse. They were confident that they could reverse the vasectomy and that after the procedure, Przewalski’s horse could successfully sow his wild oats and produce many foals.
But there was one challenge.
Vasectomy reversal had never ever been performed on such an endangered species. The vet surgeons had to establish a new and untried set of best practices for this horse.
So, they took the help of Dr. Sherman Silber, an urologist who had pioneered vasectomy reversal microsurgery for humans and also had successfully reversed vasectomized bush dogs.
Dr. Silber worked with the zoo’s vets performed the first reversal in March 2007. However, it was unsuccessful because the rare horse was positioned on its side, which made surgery difficult. The horse was too huge to be positioned on its back. The surgeons’ team then decided to perform another operation. This time the animal would be positioned on its back but the operation had to be completed in an hour. The second operation took place in October 2007.
Six months later the horse’s semen was collected – and lo and behold, the horse was all ready to make some foals! Ever since then Przewalski’s horse has been horsing around and becoming a proud father again and again thanks to reverse vasectomy.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://officeimg.vo.msecnd.net/en-us/images/MH900425469.jpg
Blogger Emmett J. Chace is a father of 3 as well, having had a human vasectomy reversal in 2006.