Special Report: The Frozen Zoo at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego Zoo Safari Park spans more than 1,800 acres and is home to more than 3,500 animals; this is less than half of the species found inside the frozen zoo.
KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries did a special report on what the frozen zoo may offer to help conservation efforts and endangered species repopulation. Part II of her special can be found below.
Founded in the early 70’s by pathologist Kurt Bernirschke, the frozen zoo is made of steel tanks housing 10,576 individual cells lines for more than 1,200 species: everything from amphibians to carnivores and birds.
The frozen zoo can be thought of as a biology bank: genetic materials like skin sperm and eggs are taken from animals and then frozen in time with the help of liquid nitrogen. That material can be preserved indefinitely and used to learn more about a species or for genetic rescue.