How do you implement animal birth control? The same ways people get on birth control – zoo officials are using injections, pills, and even IUDs on the animals. Why has the zoo put all their animals on birth control? Because of overcrowding, of course. “Why is overcrowding an issue?” Well, besides the obvious, we’ll explain.
Last summer, there was a TB outbreak at the zoo, and 11 antelope had to be put down because of it (animals are bred at this zoo and then sent to other zoos). Problem is that now, because of the outbreak, animals aren’t allowed to be moved out to other zoos. The zoo is already close to capacity, but because of the TB outbreak there are new restrictions in place that stop animals from leaving the zoo for other zoos (to prevent spread of the disease), so the mating has to stop for now. We can’t exactly tell animals to stop, you know – so the next option is birth control.
There are about 60 different species at this particular zoo that will be placed (or have already been placed) on birth control. The zoo presumably doesn’t want to spay the animals because they want to be able to get back into breeding programs once the ban on animals leaving the zoo is lifted and the outbreak is contained. But until then, they’re having to capture the animals, sedate them, and give them their dosage of birth control, whatever it may be.
The cause of the outbreak? Well, the zoo thinks that infected badgers have been getting into enclosures through fences. For now, zoo officials are testing the animals (so far there haven’t been any more getting infected), and have “beefed up” the fences surrounding enclosures. Check out a bit more on the zoo and animal birth control here.