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. The Greek words rhino (nose) and ceros are combined to form the term rhinoceros (horn). There are five types of rhinoceros that are still in existence: the white, black, larger one-horned, Javan, and Sumatran.
The names of several additional creatures also contain the word “rhinoceros,” including the rhinoceros auklet, rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros chameleon, rhinoceros cockroach, rhinoceros fish, rhinoceros hornbill, rhinoceros iguana, rhinoceros rat snake, rhino shrimp, and rhinoceros viper. They all have horn-like projections on their noses.
Pachyderms is another term used to describe rhinos. Pachys (thick) and derma are two additional Greek terms that contribute to the name pachyderm (skin). Several thick-skinned species, such as rhinos, tapirs, horses, elephants, hippos, pigs, peccaries, and hyraxes, were once categorized as pachyderms by zoologists. Although this categorization is no longer seen to be relevant, the term is nevertheless occasionally used.
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.
They have been protected and managed for more than a century, and they are currently considered to be Near Threatened, with over 18,000 animals living in protected areas and private game reserves. Of the five rhino species, they are the only ones that are not in danger. White rhinos have intricate social systems. Only two unique female northern white rhinos are still thought to exist in the world. They are thus technically extinct. Najin and Fatu are their names.
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 from 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 the “living dead.”
A vial of frozen skin cells may be used to make a herd of northern white rhinos in four (huge) steps: (1) Create stem cells from skin cells. (2) Transform those stem cells into sperm and egg cells. (3) Create an embryo by fertilizing the egg with sperm. (4) Insert the embryo into a female rhinoceros’ womb, where it will grow into a young rhinoceros.
The issue with this tactic is that no one is aware of how to carry out any of these procedures in white rhinos. However, the experts at the San Diego Zoo have made substantial progress on all of them over the past three years.
An egg has to be developed and live in order to be fertilized. These conditions are often met by the environment that the ovaries maintain. But because they will produce and fertilize northern white rhino eggs in a lab, researchers need to develop methods for simulating the ovarian environment. Finding a Goldilocks Zone is necessary in this situation as well; the temperature, nutrition and hormone concentrations, and the carbon dioxide to oxygen ratio all need to be precisely perfect.
The Goldilocks Zone was discovered using southern white rhinoceros (SWR) eggs since the investigators lacked access to northern white rhinoceros eggs. For many years, the only eggs available to the researchers were those taken after an SWR had died, which are not nearly as healthy as eggs taken from live rhinos. They were able to keep these eggs alive, even though they were never able to get them to develop. They ultimately acquired healthy eggs in March 2020.
“We gathered 22 [eggs] from our females at the rhino rescue facility just before COVID struck and shut down everything. And we really developed an embryo, with a 50% maturation rate, which was great for our first try, according to Barbara Durrant, SDZ’s director of reproductive sciences. The study team intends to gather additional SWR eggs over the next weeks so they may keep honing their approach.
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 near extinction of the northern white rhinoceros is that the white rhinoceros survive 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 do 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 is 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.
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.
Other Recommended Reading
- White Rhino Population Graph over Time in the World
- Rhino Horn Trade – Ban | Fact | History | Statistics
- Javan Rhinoceros – Does a Rhino have Two Hearts?
- Sumatran Rhinoceros – Why are Sumatran Rhinos Important?
- African Rhino Extinct – Conservation Efforts Taken
- Where do Black Rhino Live -Black Rhinoceros Habitat
- Interesting Facts about White Rhinos
- Northern White Rhinoceros – Northern White Rhino Facts
- Are the Northern White Rhinoceros Extinct?
- African Rhino Facts – Why is the Black Rhino Important?
- Black Rhino Hunting – Why are Black Rhinos Hunted?
- White Rhino Diet – How much do White Rhinos Eat?
- Why are White Rhinos Endangered
- Javan Rhino Conservation
- How many Rhinos are there in the World?
- Is a Rhino Horn made of Bone or Ivory?
- How Much Does a Rhino Horn Weigh?
- What do White Rhinos Eat for Survival?
- White Rhino Extinct – Can We Save the White Rhino?
- White Rhino Conservation – How did White Rhinos go Extinct?