The northern white rhino is in a very perilous situation. Last year the last male of the species passed away, and there are only two surviving females. Scientists had previously preserved sperm samples from a number of males with a view to using IVF to save the species from extinction.
In order to see if IVF is a viable option in rhinos, an international team of scientists and conservationists, known as BioRescue, are working with southern white rhinos. They successfully harvested eggs from a female southern white rhino, fertilized it in vitro, and then implanted the embryo in the female rhino. The procedure happened at the Chorzow zoo in Poland, and ultrasounds show that the embryo is growing. It is hoped the embryo will continue to grow and result in a successful pregnancy.
Given the initial success of this procedure, it is now hoped that eggs can be harvested from the two surviving female northern white rhinos, and that these can be used to produce IVF northern white rhino calves.
Source: Global News
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