The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
'Hopeful' Scientists Create Nearly Extinct Northern White Rhino Embryo
By Jessie Wingard
Scientists are hoping to impregnate the closely-related southern white rhino — the most abundant rhino sub-species in the world — using harvested eggs from the last two northern white rhino cows and frozen sperm collected from four rhino bulls before their deaths, an international science consortium said on Wednesday.
Turning Point in Assisted Reproduction
Two northern white rhino in-vitro embryos were successfully created at Avantea Laboratories in Cremona, Italy.
"These are early embryos that have a very high potential to develop into a baby. [They] have now been put in liquid nitrogen. We have achieved a new life, a new hope for this species," Thomas Hildebrandt, project head at the Leibnitz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, a consortium partner in the project, told DW.
Researchers from Kenya, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Germany are still fine-tuning the implantation procedure before the embryos are transferred into a surrogate mother, but are hopeful a northern white rhino calf can be born via surrogacy within the next three years.
The remaining two cows, mother Najin and daughter Fatu, live in a Kenyan sanctuary. The last bull, Fatu's father, Sudan, died in March, 2018.
Genetic reasons mean neither cow can breed.
While Najin and Fatu might not be able to carry the baby, the offspring would still be reliant on them "to pass on their knowledge of how a northern white rhino behaves with their offspring," Hildebrandt added.
Reposted with permission from our media associate DW.
- World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Fertilize Eggs From Last Northern White Rhinos - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Grecia Elenes grew up in Fresno, California. She says some parts of the city have been neglected for decades. When she moved back after college she realized nothing has changed.
Three U.S. firefighters gave their lives battling Australia's historic wildfires Thursday when their airborne water tanker crashed.
Doomsday Clock Moves to 100 Seconds Before Midnight Due to Threats of Nuclear War and Climate Change
In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.
The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.