Are the northern white rhinoceros extinct? The answer is two white rhinos left. That means, northern white rhinoceros are not extinct. The good news is, Scientists may have just saved the northern white rhino from extinction.
A stylish semi-captive rhino has died in Kenya recently. After several months of ill health in “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhinoceros, Vets fell asleep after deciding that his condition had deteriorated to a point where pain and quality of life were unacceptable.
From a conservation point of view, this doesn’t seem to matter. Sudan was an old rhino. He was good at breeding age. So why did his death headline?
Sudan was the last surviving male northern white rhinoceros, to scientists a subspecies known as Ceratotherium simum suti, which was extinct in the wild for hunting nearly 20 years ago. He was the last wild-caught northern white rhino, captured and removed from the wild in 1975. Sudan’s daughter-in-law, Nazan and granddaughter Fatu, are now both married and have mates, but they are both old and unable to reproduce.
This is a strange situation. On one hand, it matters a lot. The white rhinoceros in the north is extinct, it still does not know it. Conservationists refer to this population as “living dead.”
Northern white rhinoceros are not extinct
On the other hand, does it really matter? Despite being relentlessly abused in the media (and some controversy among scientists), northern whites are recognized as “simply” a tribe of white rhinoceros. The southern white rhinoceros, associated with it, is Ceratotherium cilium sycamore, of which about 20,000 remain. The species as a whole is not endangered at present.
South white rhinoceros to rescue
The importance of the nearly extinction of northern white rhinoceros, is that white rhinoceros survives through southern sub-subspecies that (with help) may be able to replace the northern white rhinoceros in its historical range throughout Central Africa. Doing so can fill the empty ecological niche.
Scientists may have just saved the northern white rhino from extinction
DNA has been preserved from the 3 northern white rhinoceros that have died in recent years, including Sudan, and will be similar to frozen eggs and sperm. The embryos produced were then transplanted into the surrogate female southern white rhinoceros. I recently spoke with Thomas Hildebrand, a leading professor of reproductive breeding and the guide to this technique, and he believes it will work.
If these optimistic plans work, the first northern white rhino calf born since 2000 can be made before the death of two wives. The alternative is to produce genetically engineered baby rhinoceroses that are a hybrid of both northern and southern breeds. If white elephant hybrids are planned to be resurrected by hybridization with Indian elephants, a white rhinoceros hybrid is not acceptable.
Yet, we are not talking about saving a subspecies from extinction, but regenerating extinct subspecies – this is a more challenging proposition.
With only two members of the species remaining, a successful egg harvest and fertilization does not mean all is lost.
Things don’t look too good for the iconic northern white rhinoceros. With the 2018 death of Sudan, the world’s last male of the species, only two females remain – and neither of them are capable of carrying a viable pregnancy.
Once wandering the grasslands of Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, widespread predators and civil war have pushed the northern white rhino almost to extinction.
Now, however, an international association of scientists and conservationists has completed a process that can protect this species from eternity.
On August 22, 2019, veterinarians succeeded in collecting eggs from two females named Nazan and Fatu, who live in the Ol Pazeta Conservancy in Kenya. Before trying white whites in the north, girls were never given general anesthesia for this procedure – where doctors used an inquiry conducted by ultrasound – which was created after years of research and practice.
Seven of the ten eggs that have been harvested have successfully matured and were artificially involved in the uterus through ICSI (intra-cytoplasm sperm injection) with frozen sperm from northern white rhinoceros bulls that died in 2014 and 2018. If a successful embryo development follows, the white rhinoceros surrogate will migrate to the soil.
“The number of cut oocytes is a tremendous breakthrough and evidence that unique collaboration between scientists, zoologists, and conservationists in the field can create optimistic prospects for even the animals that are facing a horrific extinction,” said Jane Stageskal of the Dover Kloev Zoo, where two rhinoceros were born.
“At the ongoing CITES meeting in Geneva, the global resolution to save white rhinoceros in the world should be guided by the resolution that is needed worldwide. The assisted reproductive strategy can draw the world’s attention to the plight of all rhinoceros and we must avoid the decision to harm law enforcement. Demand for fuel, “Hon added B balala, Kenya’s tourism and wildlife Cabinet Secretary.
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Although the process seemed a bit clinical – there was no fermentation in the grassland here – it was by no means cruel. The whole process was first carried out with ethics and within the framework created by other scientists and veterinarians involved in ethics and methodology. “We have created a dedicated ethical risk analysis to prepare the team for all the possible scenarios of this nationally ambitious approach,” says Barbara De Mori, conservation and animal welfare ethicist. “Specialist from the University of Padua. This is a bittersweet moment for sure
“On one hand, Ol ‘Pageetta is sad that we have now landed on the last two northern rhinos on the planet, as proof that the human race is in contact with the natural world around us. But we are also very proud,” said Richard, who is part of a groundbreaking work to rescue this species now. We hope this indicates the beginning of an era where Manu Proper management of the environment that understands the end of a necessity rather than a luxury, “Richard said. Vigne, Managing Director of Owl Pageant.