Kenya says newly created embryo to reclaim northern male white rhinos
Kenya said that creation of a new embryo through artificial insemination will help reclaim northern male white rhinos that had experienced an extinction linked to poaching and climatic stresses.
Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, said on Wednesday the world should brace for the next generation of northern male white rhinos thanks to the successful creation of a new embryo through artificial fertilization in mid-December last year.
"We are glad that the northern in-vitro fertilization project has been able to successfully produce three pure northern white rhino embryos ready for implantation into southern white rhinos as surrogate mothers in the coming months," said Balala.
A consortium of Kenyan and foreign scientists, as well as the conservationists, created two viable embryos in August last year after inseminating eggs harvested from two surviving female northern white rhinos using frozen sperm from deceased male counterparts.
After the nine eggs matured, five were fertilized with sperm using a state-of-the-art procedure and developed into an embryo that is currently stored in liquid nitrogen alongside the two that were created in August last year.
Balala said that the creation of an additional embryo marked a milestone in efforts to recover the iconic northern male white rhino in Kenya and beyond.
"This is a big win for Kenya and its partners, as the northern white rhinos are faced with the threat of imminent extinction," said Balala.
He said that implantation of embryos to southern female white rhinos that will act as surrogate mothers will be carried out soon as efforts to recover their northern male counterparts gather steam. (Xinhua)
Thirty-year-old Najin (L) and nineteen-year-old Fatu, the last two northern white rhinos are seen in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia County, Kenya, Aug. 23, 2019. (Xinhua/John Okoyo)