2004 Volume 66 Issue 11 Pages 1371-1376
The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is endangered for extinction in some areas of Japan, and semen collection and cryopreservation are an important means to preserve genetic resources. The aim of this study was to characterize and cryopreserve semen of free-ranging Japanese black bears. Semen was collected by electroejaculation procedure from 4 free-ranging Japanese black bears at the capture point in the field. Ejaculates containing motile sperm were recovered from all of the animals and ejaculate volume, total sperm count, % motility (percentage of motile spermatozoa), % viability (percentage of spermatozoa that excluded eosin) and % abnormal morphology (range (mean)) were 0.65-2.20 (1.51) ml, 99-1082 (490) × 106, 5-100 (31), 42-97 (66) and 20-87 (53), respectively. Three of the 4 ejaculates were diluted with an egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-glucose extender and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Motile spermatozoa were observed after freezing and thawing in all cases. This study showed that electroejaculation would be a useful method for collecting semen from free-ranging Japanese black bears and that at least motile spermatozoa would be obtained by freezing the thus collected electroejaculates.