Kenya: Ol Pejeta Creates Hybrid Embryo for Northern White Rhinos

According to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, It is believed the rhino, Sudan, died after age-related complications (file photo).

Nairobi — The Ol Pejeta Conservancy on Thursday announced the creation of the first ever hybrid rhino embryo sparking hopes for the regeneration of the northern white rhino following the death of the last male northern white rhino, Sudan, on March 18.

The news of Sudan's death due to age-related illnesses at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy had devastated conservationists and scientists who were at the time working to save the northern white rhino from extinction.

The creation of the first ever hybrid rhino embryo was achieved through the fusion of a southern white rhino egg with northern white rhino sperm that had been obtained from Sudan.

"We are thrilled to share the news announced today by our partners - the Dvůr Králové Zoo and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) - that the first ever hybrid rhino embryo has been successfully created by Avantea (a firm that in animal cloning and transgenesis) their associates and world leaders in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) for large animals in Italy," Ol Pejeta announced.

Scientists now hope to perform an ovum pick up to harvest eggs from Fatu and Najin, the two remaining female northern white rhinos to revive the species on the brink of extinction.

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