Scientists Create Northern White Rhino Embryos To Save Species From Extinction

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Two white rhinos. image from https://twitter.com/kwskenya

With only two female northern white rhinos remaining on the planet and being unable to carry a pregnancy a science breakthrough couldn’t have happened at a better time if not now.

The northern white rhino has been at the risk of extinction with the world’s last male northern white rhino dying in 2018 at the age of 45 years. The rhino who went by the name Sudan had been under treatment for age-related complications and suffered degenerative changes in muscles and bones leaving him at the brink of death. Sudan, the last northern male white rhino ailment, why we care and interesting facts about rhinos.

From the star, Sudan suffered immense pain which led to the vets’ decision of euthanizing him. The last northern male white rhino died at Ol Pejeta conservancy leaving behind two females who he had sired

But his death was not in vain. Because before his last day, his genetic material had been collected for future attempts to reproduce the northern white rhinos. The hope was that through advanced cellular technology the endangered species would not go extinct.

The future is now could not describe the current circumstances any better.

As now through artificial insemination using the sperm from Suni, a deceased male rhino and an egg from Fatu, the youngest of the female white rhinos, there’s hope in siring the next generation of the northern white rhinos.

Two white rhinos. image from https://twitter.com/kwskenya

 

Following an egg harvesting from Najin and Fatu which happened late August 2019. Scientists announced that they have succeeded in creating two northern white rhino embryos.

 

From the 10 eggs, which were harvested from Najin and Fatu at Ol Pejeta conservancy, Fatu’s eggs managed to develop into viable embryos.

The two embryos are being cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen, to be transferred into a southern rhino surrogate mother.

 

This first-ever in vitro fertilization may mark the beginning of a new phase as the northern white rhino has suffered near extinction since the 1970s when Sudan was first housed at the Dvur Kravole zoo.

Scientists and the Kenyan government are excited about the possibility of saving the Northern White Rhinos. The partnership shows what can happen when science and governments work together to save a species from extinction.

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