Wildlife experts and veterinarians say there is hope to prevent the extinction of the northern white rhino because they successfully extracted eggs from the last two remaining females of the species. The eggs will be used to reproduce the species through a surrogate.
The groundbreaking procedure was carried out Thursday on the northern white rhinos known as Najin and Fatu who cannot carry a pregnancy. The joint effort by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Avantea, Dvur Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service saw a team of vets successfully harvest a total of ten eggs from the rhinos.
“We are delighted that this partnership gets us one step closer to prevent the extinction of the northern white rhinos,” said John Waweru, KWS director-general.
The eggs are to be artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from a northern white rhino bull and then transferred to a southern white rhino surrogate mother.
The two surviving female rhinos, a mother and a daughter named Najin and Fatu are unable to breed due to genetic reasons.