SAVING FROM EXTINCTION

Scientists create third Northern White Rhino embryo

Scientists carried out the egg harvesting at the Ol Pejeta conservancy.

In Summary

• The plan now is to pick a group of the Southern White Rhinos from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy from which a female could serve as a surrogate mother.

•  Tourism CS Najib Balala said welcomed the move being made by the team, saying that the country will be proud to rescue the extinct rhino.

The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017. REUTERS
The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017. REUTERS

Efforts to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction has gained momentum after step ahead following the creation of a third in-vitro embryo.

Scientists repeated an exercise on December 17, using the frozen sperms harvested from the deceased male and created another embryo in support of the Kenyan government.

The process of creating the embryos has been going on in an Italian laboratory. 

 
 

The eggs were harvested from the two female rhinos Najin and Fatu.

The scientists carried out the egg harvesting at the Ol Pejeta conservancy.

The preparations for the next step to rescue the Northern White Rhino are underway using eggs collected from the two remaining females and frozen sperm from deceased males

The plan is to pick a group of the Southern White Rhinos from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy from which a female could serve as a surrogate mother.

The team said this can be achieved by working with the pure Northern White Rhino's embryo.

The team is expecting the first attempt which has never been done before to be carried out within this year.

Tourism CS Najib Balala said welcomed the move being made by the team, saying that the country will be proud to rescue the extinct rhino.

 
 

"It is amazing to see that we will be able to reverse the tragic loss of this subspecies through science," Balala said.

The CS added that "this is a big win for Kenya and its partners as the northern white rhinos are faced with the threat of imminent extinction",

He called upon the scientist behind the wheel to continue with deeper technology and innovation to rescue other species facing similar threats.

At the same time, the team transported the semen of Sudan, the last male  North White Rhino that died in March 2018 from Kenya to Germany.

They are aiming to use it in future to produce more embryos.