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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Breakthrough in Birth Control for Monkeys in SL

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Prof. Ashoka Dangolla from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science has announced the successful implantation of a newly developed, small-sized loop into the uteruses of female monkeys, aimed at effectively preventing pregnancies. The breakthrough, achieved with collaboration from the Dental Faculty at Peradeniya University, marks a significant step forward in population control methods for monkeys, Daily Mirror reported.

“We meticulously measured the dimensions of the female monkeys’ uteruses and designed a smaller-sized loop tailored for implantation,” Prof. Dangolla explained in an interview with the Daily Mirror. “Utilizing expertise and technology from the Dental Faculty, we engineered this new loop.”

Out of the six female monkeys that underwent the procedure, five have successfully retained the implanted loops after two months, confirmed by X-ray examinations. The experiments, conducted on monkeys including a one-and-a-half-year-old female that had previously given birth, aim to demonstrate the loop’s efficacy in preventing pregnancies without altering the animals’ natural behavior.

“If successful, this method could offer a humane and cost-effective solution to managing monkey populations,” Prof. Dangolla emphasized. “It avoids the need for lethal measures or relocation, crucially preserving the animals while controlling their numbers.”

Looking ahead, the next phase involves observing the interaction of female monkeys with implanted loops and male counterparts to assess the loop’s contraceptive effectiveness under natural conditions. Prof. Dangolla highlighted the importance of timing the implantation procedure correctly to maximize its efficacy, particularly avoiding pregnant or near-term females.

Moreover, he stressed that the surgical technique for loop implantation is straightforward and can be readily taught to local veterinary practitioners. The manufacturing cost for each loop is approximately Rs. 2,000, making it a feasible option for wider application in managing monkey populations across natural habitats.

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