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To Prevent the Extinction of Iconic Species," Scientists Create Northern White Rhino Embryos

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Monday, 6th September 2021

The study employed eggs from one of the world's two remaining live specimens, female Fatu, who lives with her mother Najin on Kenya's 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta nature sanctuary, and sperm from two different dead males.

The eggs were gathered from Fatu in early July before being transported to a lab in Italy for fertilisation, development, and preservation, according to a press release issued late Thursday by the scientific cooperation Biorescue.

Richard Vigne, the director of Ol Pejeta, told AFP on Friday that he believes the initiative has a good chance of succeeding, despite the enormous stakes.

He stated, "No one is going to pretend that this is going to be simple."

"We're doing things that are cutting-edge from a scientific standpoint, and we're dealing with genetics, with the two remaining northern white rhinos on the planet," Vigne explained.

He said, "There are a lot of things that may go wrong." "I believe everyone recognises the issues that remain."


Also Read: Kerala Continues to Bear Maximum share of New Covid-19 Cases in India With More than 30,000 Infections


Biorescue has gathered 80 eggs from Najin and Fatu since 2019, but all of the viable embryos come from the younger rhino.

The initiative is a collaborative effort involving scientists from the German Leibniz Institute, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and Ol Pejeta, as well as the Italian Avantea laboratory, which is assisting with fertilisation.

Kenyan Tourism Minister Najib Balala expressed his delight at the news.

In a news statement, he added, "It is really gratifying to note that the initiative has continued to make good progress in its ambitious attempts to save an iconic species from extinction."

Rhinoceroses have few natural predators, but hunting has destroyed their populations since the 1970s.

Modern rhinos have been on the globe for 26 million years, and more than a million were thought to be roaming the wild in the mid-nineteenth century.


The News Talkie Bureau



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