Researchers want to artificially restore the northern white rhino population. The last male of this subspecies died in 2018.
Scientists working to restore the nearly extinct northern white rhino have announced the successful creation of three more embryos of this subspecies, bringing the total to twelve. For this project, the researchers used material from one of the world’s only two living individuals – a female Fatu from a Kenyan nature reserve. The scientists saved the second part of the material from two deceased males.
Researchers at Biorescue noted that the eggs were taken from Fatou in early July and then airlifted to an Italian laboratory for fertilization, development and preservation. Neither Fatou nor Najin are able to bear a baby before term, so surrogate mothers for embryos will be chosen from the southern white rhino population. Project Director Richard Vigne noted that he believes in the success of the project.
“There are many things that can go wrong. But I think we are able to overcome these problems,” he said.