One Of The World's Last Two Northern White Rhinos Retires From Breeding Programme On Ethical Grounds

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One Of The World's Last Two Northern White Rhinos Retires From Breeding Programme On Ethical Grounds

32-year-old Najin, one of the world's two remaining northern white rhinos - the other one being her daughter, Fatu - retires from a breeding programme directed at saving the species from extinction. The rhinos has retired on ethical grounds.


Fatu is now the last rhino left in the breeding programme. The programme intended to increase the critically endangered rhino species in Kenya through implantation of artificially developed embryos. No living males of the species exist.


Countries in central and East Africa used to have an abundance of white rhinos. However, due to extensive poaching for the rhino's horns, the numbers fell dramatically over the years.


Scientists from Germany's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, led a Biorescue team in the hopes that they could save northern white rhinos - the most critically endangered mammal in the world.


In a statement citing ethical concerns, the Biorescue team said:


"The team has reached the decision to retire the older of the two remaining females, 32-year-old Najin, as a donor of egg cells."


Another reason contributing to the decision of Najin's retirement has to do with her advanced age and signs of ill health. However, scientists believe that they can implant embryos into surrogate mothers in an effort to rescue the species from extinction. The embryos can be created from the two rhino's egg cells and frozen sperm from rhinos who are now deceased.


Acting deputy director for research at the Wildlife Research and Training Institute in Kenya, David Ndeereh, told to Reuters:


"We have been very successful with Fatu... So far we have 12 pure northern white rhino embryos. We are very optimistic that the project will succeed."


The aim is that the rhino population increases within the next two decades, with the team delivering the first northern white rhino calf within three years.


[Based on reporting by: Reuters]


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Thinking Humanity: One Of The World's Last Two Northern White Rhinos Retires From Breeding Programme On Ethical Grounds
One Of The World's Last Two Northern White Rhinos Retires From Breeding Programme On Ethical Grounds
32-year-old Najin, one of the world's two remaining northern white rhinos - the other one being her daughter, Fatu - retires from a breeding programme
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