- Nazin, one of the world’s last two northern white rhinos, is being retired from a breeding program to save the species, scientists said.
- She will not lay her eggs because old age and disease are affecting her
- Doctors found multiple, small benign tumors in her cervix and uterus, and a 25-centimeter cyst in her left ovary
- Fatu – Nazin’s 20-year-old daughter – is the only donor left in the program
- Researchers have so far created a total of 12 embryos that will be placed in surrogate mothers, possibly southern white rhinos.
Scientists said Thursday that Nazin, one of the world’s last two northern white rhinos, is being retired from a breeding program to save the species.
The 32-year-old will not be able to hatch her eggs as a result of her retirement, with the researchers noting that old age and illness have affected her.
The other northern white rhinoceros, Fatu – Najin’s 20-year-old daughter – is the only donor left in the program, which is trying to implant artificially grown embryos into female southern white rhinos.
Najin, one of the world’s last two northern white rhinos (pictured), is retiring from a breeding program to save the species.
She will not lay her eggs because old age and disease are affecting her
Doctors found multiple, small benign tumors in her cervix and uterus, and a 25-centimeter cyst in her left ovary
“In a special, in-depth ethical risk assessment, the team has reached the decision to retire Najin, 32, as a donor of egg cells (oocytes) from the two remaining women,” Biorescue said. Statement.
‘This leaves the ambitious program with just one woman who can provide oocytes, Najin’s daughter Fatu.’
He said that the increasing age of the nazin and the symptoms of the disease were also taken into account.
Nazin’s recent medical examination found a 25-centimeter cyst in her left ovary, along with multiple, small benign tumors in her cervix and uterus.
Dr. Frank Görritz, lead veterinarian for Leibniz-IZW and Dr. Stefan Ngulu, principal veterinarian for Ol Pejeta, said: ‘These findings may explain why oocyte collections were not as successful with Fatu as her.
‘This is why we came to the conclusion that the most valuable role for Najin is to be an ambassador for the protection of her kind and to ensure that she can transfer her social knowledge and behavior to offspring in the near future.’
There are no known surviving males and neither of the remaining two northern white rhinos can carry a single calf.
The northern white rhinoceros, which is brown in appearance, roamed throughout Africa, living up to 50 years in some cases.
However, widespread poaching of the animal led to a rapid decline in numbers, with only Najin and Fatu.
The researchers said other measures were considered, but they felt it was best for the species as a whole.
Professor Thomas Hildebrandt, head of the Biorescue project, said in the statement: ‘We are well aware of the fact that we are pushing the limits of what is possible in conservation and we also need to understand the ethical and moral implications of this. would think.
‘Every process of the program is accompanied by a full ethical risk assessment and we are convinced that we should not do anything we do just because we can.
‘The development of clear ethical principles based on our knowledge, scientific expertise in animal welfare ethics and decision-making, and an alertness to social discourse is a fundamental cornerstone of Biorescue.’
A biorescue team led by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany is racing against time to save the world’s most endangered mammal.
In July, scientists created three more embryos to help save the functionally extinct northern white rhinoceros, bringing the total they created so far to 12.
Scientists hope to implant embryos made from rhinoceros egg cells and frozen sperm from dead males into surrogate mothers, possibly southern white rhinos.
It is estimated that there are about 18,000 southern white rhinos left in the world, whose status is classified as ‘near threatened’. World Wildlife Fund.
“We have been very successful with Fatu … so far we have 12 pure northern white rhino embryos,” David Nadereh, acting deputy director for research at the Wildlife Research and Training Institute, a Kenyan state agency, told Reuters.
‘We are very optimistic that the project will be successful.’
The first batch of embryos were made in 2019.
Since 2019, Biorescue has collected 80 eggs from Najin and Fatu, but 12 viable embryos are all from small rhinos.
The team hopes to be able to deliver its first northern white rhinoceros calf in three years and a wider population in the next two decades.
Modern rhinos have been roaming the planet for 26 million years and it is estimated that in the mid-19th century more than a million people still lived in the wild.
Scientists hope for IVF to save northern white rhinoceros from extinction
While Sudan’s death is a symbolic turning point in the fight to save the northern white rhinoceros, in reality the species’ survival is entirely dependent on years of untested IVF techniques.
It was hoped that Sudan, his daughter Najin and granddaughter Patu might be able to produce offspring when they relocated to Kenya in 2009, but their close genetic ties left them infertile.
According to one, since at least 2015 scientists have been working with IVF and stem cell techniques in the hope of being able to create a viable northern white rhino embryo. gofundme Project page.
Researchers in Berlin and San Diego are using DNA samples collected from a dozen northern whites, including Sudan, and trying to apply techniques developed for humans to animals.
If a viable embryo could be created, it would have to be implanted in the womb of a southern white rhinoceros, as Mazin and Patu could die before the technique was perfected.
While the southern white rhinoceros would…