The Atlantic

It's Really Hard to Know When a Zoo Animal Is Pregnant

Poop mapping, dog pregnancy kits, bribing pandas for ultrasounds—zoos often have to get creative to figure out when their animals will give birth.
Source: China Daily CDIC / Reuters

Sex at the zoo is a highly managed affair.

When zookeepers do not want a species to reproduce, birth control is in order. “Chimps take human birth-control pills, giraffes are served hormones in their feed, and grizzly bears have slow-releasing hormones implanted in their forelegs,” writes The New York Times. When zookeepers do want a species to reproduce—especially an endangered or threatened one—the couplings must be carefully arranged. An animal might travel 1,500 miles to meet a partner.

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