Another embryo of northern white rhino, an almost extinct animal, was created by a team of researchers. The animal is in fact very close to extinction as only two female specimens remain. The embryo was created with eggs taken from the females and inseminated with semen that had previously been frozen by male specimens then dead.
These embryos, preserved in liquid nitrogen, can then be inserted into the body of a surrogate mother and this is what the researchers are going to do over the next few months.
This was noted in a statement by the Associated Press with an intervention by Kenya’s wildlife minister, Najib Balala, who reveals that the long-term goal of the project is to give birth to at least five more specimens of the northern white rhinoceros so that they can be inserted into their natural African habitat. Of course, this is a project that could take many years, perhaps decades.
At the moment only two females, called Najin and Fatu, are still alive in a park in Kenya. The embryos were taken from Fatu himself.
Now all that remains is to select females of southern white rhinos that can act as surrogate mothers, another not easy thing because even the latter are not very easy to find because of poaching (the animals are killed for their precious horns used to make carving objects but also for practices not better identified in traditional Chinese medicine).