AfricaEnvironmentNews

Vets Harvest Eggs from Last Two Females Rhinos, Kenya

New hope for near-extinct northern white rhinos

Science is the only hope for the northern white rhino after the death last year of the last male, named Sudan, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya .

A team of Veterinarians haveĀ  successfully managed to harvest 10 eggs from the last two surviving female northern white rhinos in Kenya.

The technique for the process has been developed over several years, experts say, but is not without risk.It remains uncertain if the implanted embryos will result in pregnancy.

Last year, a team removed eggs from female southern rhinos and fertilised them with frozen sperm from a male northern white rhino, to create hybrid embryos.

Two females, Najin, 30, and daughter Fatu, 19, are the only survivors of the subspecies of white rhino, and live under 24-hour armed guard at Ol Pejeta. For genetic reasons they are, however, both unable to breed. Any embryos will be implanted into a surrogate southern white rhino in the near future.

The last male, who was named Sudan, died in March 2018.

Rhinos are the second-largest land mammal after elephants. The white rhinoceros consists of two sub-species – the southern white rhino and the much rarer and critically endangered northern white rhino.

Poaching is the primary threat facing all rhino species.

Loss of habitat is the other main threat and conservationists say governmental protection of parks and reserves is now essential.

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