Are Kenyan Scientists Going to Save the White Rhino From Extinction?

Northern white rhinoceros

Scientists in Kenya have launched a mission to save the northern white rhinoceros species from extinction, Africa news reports.

The northern white rhinoceros is one of the two subspecies of white rhino. The species has been near extinction after the death of the last male named Sudan in 2018.

Despite the complicated nature of the mission, the scientists are confident about saving the rhinoceros with 9 embryos — obtained from eggs harvested from two surviving females and frozen sperm from deceased males.

Speaking on the process through which they would achieve the noble feat, Richard Vigne, the Managing Director of Ol Pejeta Conservancy said; “[t]he next stage is to work out how to take those embryos, which are northern white rhino embryos, and to put them into a surrogate southern white rhino female.

“It has to be a southern white rhino female because there are no northern white rhino females that can carry those embryos to make a calf.”

Thomas Hildebrandt, a BioRescue project leader who works at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) expressed his satisfaction with the project.

“Nobody has really dreamed of so much fast progress in the beginning. And these embryos really represent new life.

“If the transfer in the surrogates and potential mothers with a nice life and lively environment here in Kenya, we are quite confident that this will be successful and we can demonstrate to the world that this ambitious project is successful.”

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