Artificial insemination is the last hope for northern white rhinos

Photo illustration: Unsplash (Keith Markilie)

The last male of the northern white rhino in the world left us in March 2018, and the news of his death was all the more shocking because it meant that there was no hope for the survival of these aphthous giants.

And while people have said goodbye en masse to northern white rhinos, outraged at the human race that has once again “failed”, there are those who will not give up the fight for this precious species so easily.

A glimmer of hope for the return of northern white rhinos is provided by artificial insemination, and scientists from the international consortium BioRescue, which deals with the preservation of wild animals, have just formed three more embryos, of which there are now a total of 12, writes Phys.org.

Fatu, one of the two remaining females of the northern white rhino in the world, donated eggs for this project, and the frozen sperm of two dead males were used for fertilization.

As BioRescue states in a press release, samples of different males were used with the intention of increasing the genetic diversity of the young, crucial for the further survival of the species.

So far, the emryons have one dad – the rhinoceros Suni, and now, for the first time, the sperm of the rhinoceros Angalifu have been used, which the scientists believed were not able to fertilize the eggs.

As Fatu and her mother Najin are unable to carry the pregnancy, the embryos will be transplanted into a surrogate mother from the southern white rhino population. Scientists are now focused on the first embryo transfer in the coming months, and a positive outcome could mean the gradual return of this lost species.

Milena Maglovski


Source: Energetski portal Srbije by www.energetskiportal.rs.

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