Desperate bid to save northern white rhino

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mr friendly guy
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Desperate bid to save northern white rhino

Post by mr friendly guy » ... s/12572546
Northern white rhino eggs harvested from final two animals in bid to prevent extinction
Posted 2hhours ago, updated 1hhour ago

Scientists say they have successfully extracted eggs from the last two remaining northern white rhinos, a step on the way to possibly saving the subspecies from extinction.

Ten eggs were harvested from the female rhinos, named Najin and Fatu, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

The scientists hope to use them to create viable embryos that can be transferred into surrogates, as neither of the donor rhinos can carry a pregnancy to term.

"The ovum pick-up went smoothly and without any complications," the team, which consists of experts from Germany and the Czech Republic, said in a statement.

The harvested eggs — the third round to be taken from the two females since August 2019 — were immediately flown to the Avantea laboratory in Italy to be artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from now-deceased northern white rhino bulls.

Three embryos were created from the previously extracted eggs.

The next step is to select female southern white rhinos, another rhino subspecies, at Ol Pejeta to serve as surrogate mothers.

The last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died in March 2018.

A copy of his genetic material was taken on the day of his death.

Work to keep northern white rhinos from dying out depends on perfecting in-vitro fertilisation techniques and keeping the remaining two females alive.

While there are thousands of southern white rhinos still roaming the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching drastically cut northern white rhino numbers.
Since the northern white rhino is a subspecies, then I started looking at what's the difference between the northern and southern white rhino, and this was the first article I found. ... xtinction/
What is the difference between the northern and southern white rhino?
There are many differences between the northern and southern white rhino, one being they exist in different parts of Africa.

The northern white rhino are smaller, with a male weighing around 1400-1600 kilograms.

They have straight backs, flat skulls, hairier ears and tails, a shorter front horn and no grooves between ribs.

The southern white rhino are larger, weighing at 2000-2400kg. They have a concave back and skull with a prominent shoulder hump.

The southern white rhinos sometimes have distinct vertical grooves between their ribs with more body hair and a longer front horn.
Apparently the two female rhinos are the daughter and granddaughter of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino.

Presumably they are planning to inseminate into another subspecies, although it would run the risks of consanguiniaty since the eggs and sperm are from the same family.
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