What is a frozen zoo?

A frozen zoo is a stockpile, or bank, of carefully collected DNA, sperm, embryos, cells and tissues that are frozen and stored at ultra-low temperatures, usually in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius. If collected and stored correctly these cells can remain viable for decades, if not centuries. When thawed, sperm and embryos can be used directly in assisted reproduction programs, whilst other types of cells and tissues have the potential for use in developing assisted reproductive technologies.

Some international breeding programs have already successfully incorporated advanced assisted reproductive technologies and sperm banking, most notably the international Giant Panda breeding program and Black-footed Ferret recovery program.

Some other Frozen Zoo websites include: