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Sterilisation of hybrid Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra) for island restoration. Part 1: endoscopic oophorectomy of females under ketamine-medetomidine anaesthesia
  1. S. E. Knafo, DVM1,
  2. S. J. Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DACZM, DipECZM(herp), FRCVS1,
  3. S. Rivera, DVM, MS, DAVBP(Avian)2,
  4. L. J. Cayot, PhD3,
  5. W. Tapia-Aguilera4 and
  6. J. Flanagan, DVM5
  1. Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 501 DW Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602, USA
  2. Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315, USA
  3. Galapagos Conservancy, Suite 408, 11150 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
  4. Galapagos National Park Service, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador
  5. Houston Zoo, 1513 Cambridge Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence sek28{at}

An endoscopic sterilisation technique for use in Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra) was developed as part of a conservation and ecosystem restoration project. Fifteen female giant Galapagos tortoises were anaesthetised, intubated and positioned in dorsal recumbency. A bilateral prefemoral approach was made and the ovaries were identified using a 5 mm × 33 cm rigid telescope. In the case of endoscope-assisted oophorectomy, the ovaries were exteriorised through the same incision, the vasculature was ligated and the mesovarium was transected. Two tortoises had immature ovaries that could not be exteriorised. In these animals, endoscopic oophorectomy was performed using radiosurgery. Closure of the incisions was routine. All tortoises except one recovered well from surgery. There were no reported complications six weeks and six months postoperatively, and all were successfully released on to Pinta Island in May 2010.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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