What now, for the northern white rhino?

Late last year, the oldest of the two remaining northern white rhino was retired from the breeding programme. This just leaves her daughter as the only egg donor in the embryo implantation scheme.

There are now no remaining male northern white rhino and only 2 females. As a result, the idea has been for some time, to get embryos from the few remaining members and implant them into similar rhino species.

Roaming in reasonable numbers just 40 years ago, they suffered due to poaching for their horn.

Currently there are 12 healthy embryos ready for implantation, so there is still hope that the northern white rhino could rise from the ashes and go back to filling its important niche. Unfortunately there is still much work to do before we can reach that stage.

5 viable northern white rhino embryos have been created

The Northern white rhino, an animal that existed in the DRC and parts of the world like that, still had numbers of about 2000 in the 1980s. Unfortunately there are now only two.

The BBC seven worlds one planet series, included a short clip about the last 2 northern white rhinos, With thousands living wild, just 35 years ago, can we save these animals?

Humans are belatedly trying to do something about this, and have managed to create 5 seemingly viable northern white rhino embryos.

These can then be put in the surrogate Southern white rhino mothers, giving the ability to increase the population from the current 2, to a potential 7.

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