If Hogle Zoo’s plans to jump-start an elephant pregnancy are successful, it could be years before officials will be able to identify the father.

German animal insemination experts made two attempts to set Christie down the road of motherhood as part of a national species conservation project, zoo spokeswoman Holly Braithwaite said. It will be at least six months before blood tests reveal whether the elephant is pregnant. A paternity test would have to wait until after the birth.

In 2004, Christie received an ultrasound that showed her reproductive tract was structurally sound. This week’s are the first attempts at artificial insemination.

The German team stopped at the zoo in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sunday to collect a fresh sperm sample from a male elephant, she said. They then carried the sample onto a flight to Salt Lake City.

Genetic material from the Indianapolis zoo also was overnighted as part of the insemination procedure. A total of three samples – two from Pittsburgh – were implanted in Christie.

If the pregnancy takes, the German team would return to perform a follow-up ultrasound, which must be done inside the elephant, as the skin is too thick for traditional ultrasound techniques.

Christie has a 2 1/2 day fertility window that occurs three times a year, and she would carry her offspring for two years.