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Kan. zoo hopes tigers will give birth

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The odds are long but hopes are high at the Sedgwick County Zoo that two female tigers will give birth about four months from now.

KAKE-TV reports (http://bit.ly/XD4fSl ) the 7-year-old Amur tigers underwent artificial insemination on Tuesday. The procedure was led by Bill Swanson, a specialist from the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.

The donor and potential father-to-be is Ivan, the zoo's 4-year-old male Amur tiger. The females, Talali and Zeya, roam the exhibit with Ivan but haven't mated with him.

The cubs would stay in Wichita about a year, then be moved to other zoos.

Swanson says Amur tigers do reproduce in captivity, but don't always breed with others in the same zoo. He also says artificial insemination of captive tigers has produced only three pregnancies in the past 25 years.