– The hope of saving the northern white rhino now rests on a single female, frozen sperm and ten embryos. There are only two living northern white rhinos – females Najin and Fatu from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya – whose eggs were extracted and then inseminated with frozen sperm from dead males as part of a unprecedented reproduction. Since 2019, 12 viable embryos have been produced from Fatu’s immature eggs, called oocytes, and the sperm of a male named Suni who died in Ol Pejeta in 2014. The embryos are now waiting to be transferred to a white rhino surrogate. from the south, neither Najin nor Fatu. can carry a pregnancy to term, according to AFP and Christian Science Monitor. Plus, any extra eggs will have to come from Fatu, in her early 20s, as her 32-year-old mother is now retired.
Egg extraction is a risky procedure requiring anesthesia, and during recent sedation, authorities discovered that Najin did not have enough promising eggs for extraction. “By weighing the risks and opportunities for individuals and the species as a whole, this decision was rendered without alternative,” says the scientific consortium BioRescue. Jan Stejskal from Safari Park consortium partner Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic, where Najin and Fatu were born, notes that Najin “will remain a part of the program, for example by providing tissue samples for stem cell approaches, which can be carried out. with minimal invasion. Many challenges remain to save the species from extinction, Ol Pejeta chief Richard Vigne told the newspaper in July, noting that “No one will claim that this is going to be easy. ”(Read more rhino stories.)