"Scientific Breakthrough May Save Northern White Rhino Through Surrogacy"

"NAIROBI — Scientists have made history by successfully transferring a rhinoceros embryo for the first time, conservationists announced Wednesday, an achievement that could help save the embattled species from the growing threat of poachers.

The development is a milestone that scientists say opens the way to saving the endangered northern white rhino. Only two females exist in the world, Najin and daughter Fatu, and both are unable to carry pregnancies. Najin and Fatu live at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which was also home to Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, which died in 2018.

Sudan’s death galvanized the world, motivating conservationists to try to save the species. Before that, in 2009 scientists had believed that there were only eight northern white rhinos alive on the planet, and they were all in zoos. When these rhinos did not breed, a team with a project called BioRescue went to Kenya in 2014 and decided to start working on another plan to save the species."

Rael Ombuor and Ami Vitale report for the Washington Post January 24, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 01/25/2024