German researchers want to save the white rhino from extinction

Sudan was the last male white rhino. Now there are only two women left. Photo: Environmental Protection Agency

‘Unique in the world’: this is how German researchers want to save rhino species from extinction

Through a detailed procedure, German scientists in an international consortium want to save the rare northern white rhino from extinction.

Under the supervision of Thomas Hildebrandt of the Leibniz Zoo and Wildlife Research Institute, veterinarians removed egg cells from the last remaining animals at the Kenya Wildlife Park, which were then stored in a laboratory in Italy Sperm of deceased males. So far, twelve embryos of the rhinoceros strains have been formed, the BioRescue Consortium announced.

Sperm from an animal that died at a safari park in San Diego in 2014 was used for fertilization. Hildebrandt and his team obtained it in 2001 and 2005. In a three- to four-month cycle, they want to produce more embryos from egg cells taken from a still-living female northern white rhino.

“Following the completion of the resettlement of surrogate mothers, the successful embryo transfer is the next important step that the BioRescue team is striving for,” the statement read. Females of the southern white rhino are said to bear fetuses. The work is unique in the world. The northern white rhino is believed to be extinct, with the exception of females in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Reserve. (viw/sda/dpa)

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