In a bid to save a species, an international team have undertaken egg harvesting from two female northern white rhino.These two females are the last northern white rhino left on Earth
We are thrilled to inform you that on Thursday 22nd August 2019, a team of veterinarians successfully harvested eggs from the two females, Naijin and Fatu at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. These two females are the last northern white rhino left on Earth and this procedure has never been attempted on northern white rhino before.
The procedure was the result of years of research, development, adjustments and practice. “Both the technique and the equipment had to be developed entirely from scratch”, says Prof. Thomas Hildebrandt from Leibniz-IZW and Dr. David Ndeereh from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), who headed the procedure. “We were able to harvest a total of 10 oocytes – 5 from Najin and 5 from Fatu – showing that both females can still provide eggs and thus help to save these magnificent creatures.”
The eggs will now be artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the northern white bull, Suni, who died of natural causes in 2014. With Naijin and Fatu unable to carry a pregnancy, the future of the northern white rhino now rests solely on pioneering artificial reproduction techniques. The laboratory-created embryo will be transferred to a southern white rhino female who will act as surrogate mother.
We are thrilled with the news of the successful egg harvesting and will be following closely the next steps over the coming weeks and months. For more information on the procedure and to support this pioneering work, simply press the button below.