Scientists achieve in vitro fertilization of white rhinoceros to save species

Scientists made the first achievement in vitro fertilization of the southern white rhinoceros, a step toward the goal of saving the northern white rhinoceros, which has only two females.

The head of the project, German, declared, “We have achieved something that was thought impossible.” Thomas HildebrandtAt a press conference in Berlin.

The fertilization of a southern white rhinoceros with an embryo of the same species is a “significant advance” in helping endangered northern rhinos, which belong to the same species, Hildebrandt stressed. Biorescue Scientific GroupSupported by the German Research Ministry.

In the next phase of the ambitious breeding programme, scientists will attempt to achieve the feat with a northern white rhinoceros embryo implanted into a surrogate mother of a related species from the south.

This breeding program, made possible by in vitro fertilization of eggs by injection of frozen sperm, is these animals’ last chance for survival.

Very old, two females of the R speciesnorthern white innocent -Najin and her daughter Fatu- are no longer able to carry the pregnancy to term.

The last male named Sudan died in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Reserve in 2018 najin and fatu They remain under surveillance 24 hours a day, safe from predators.

Hildebrandt’s team now aims to breed northern white rhinos “within the next two and a half years.” He said that this process may take more time. Pregnancy in rhinos lasts for 16 months.

Hildebrandt said the technology could also serve as a model for other endangered rhinoceros species, such as the Sumatran rhinoceros in Southeast Asia.

These animals have few natural predators, but their numbers have declined hunters Since the 1970s.

Modern rhinos have roamed the planet for 26 million years and it is estimated that more than one million were still living in the wild at mid-century. XIX century.

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