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New hope for almost-extinct northern white rhino

New hope for almost-extinct northern white rhino

Najin (R) and her daughter Fatou (L), the last two northern white rhino females, graze alongside Ndauwo (C), a southern white rhino near their enclosure at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia National Park, Kenya March 31, 2018.

"The northern white rhino didn't fail in evolution", Hildebrand told reporters.

Scientists have used IVF to create viable embryos using the sperm of northern white rhinos.

'With small chance of healthy new calves, and limited place in their historic range to go, Save the Rhino believes that the best outcome will be to put our efforts and funding - including research into IVF - into saving the species which do still have a chance, ' it said on its website. "We are witnessing the development of a method that can help to compensate the negative impact of humans on nature", said Steven Seet, Head of Press and Communications at the IZW. These scientists have used the method in producing rhino embryos using sperm drawn from two dead males.

"Will we ever get back to having a pure northern white rhino again?"

The NWR can only reproduce in the zoos very slowly.

The new embryos shouldn't take away from other conservation efforts, and the Save the Rhino group states that the focus should be on protecting natural habitats and other critically endangered rhino species as well.

Several months later, researchers have extracted a total of 79 reproductive cells (oocytes) from 11 females of southern white rhinos species. For safe collection of female bio-material, the zoologists used a recently patented instrument with a length of almost two meters.

Richard Kock, a conservationist at Britain's Royal Veterinary College, said: "I have no doubt that its purely scientific merit is laudable and it might have some application to endangered species conservation in the future, but I am afraid it is very much Nero fiddling after Rome is burning with respect to (northern) white rhino".

Eventually, the fertilized cells would be implanted into a southern white rhino surrogate, according to the scientists.

Early attempts were disappointing, but the results improved significantly when they zapped the eggs with two electrical pulses just after the sperm injection.

"The northern white rhino did not fail evolution, it failed because it was not bullet-proof".

"The SWR and SWR x NWR hybrid embryos created by the team led by Professor Cesare Galli, who's the senior author from the Italian reproductive laboratory Avantea, were very high quality and the stem cells created from two of them expressed all of the genes you'd expect them to express", says Professor Renfree. Scientists began to freeze northern white rhinoceros sperm in 2008, Hildebrandt said, storing 300 milliliters' worth, roughly the volume of a soda can. The researchers involved in the latest work even extracted stem cells from the embryos to create more of these hybrid embryos. Eggs, taken in the barren individuals of the southern white Rhino and the numbers of individuals of advanced age, has successfully produced embryos.

"The concern in the conservation community is that people will hear this and think, 'We can save the rhinos with science and then become more complacent about the other strategies we have in action now, '" Roth said as cited by CNN.

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