× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
VAS

Race to save northern white rhinos suffers major setback

NATIONAL
By Reuters | October 22nd 2021

Najin (R) and her daughter Fatu, the last two northern white rhino females, graze near their enclosure at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia National Park, Kenya on March 31, 2018. [Reuters, Thomas Mukoya]

One of the world's last two northern white rhinos, a mother and her daughter, is being retired from a breeding programme aimed at saving the species from extinction, scientists said yesterday.

Najin, 32, is the mother of Fatu who is now the only donor left in the programme, which aims to implant artificially developed embryos into another more abundant species of rhino in Kenya.

There are no known living males and neither of the two remaining northern white rhinos can carry a calf to term.

Northern white rhinos, which are actually grey, used to roam freely in several countries in east and central Africa, but their numbers fell sharply due to widespread poaching for their horns.

A Biorescue team led by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany has been racing against time to save the world's most endangered mammal.

"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," Biorescue said in a statement, citing ethical considerations.

Najin's advanced age, and signs of illness, were also taken into account, they said. Scientists hope to implant embryos made from the rhinos' egg cells and frozen sperm from deceased males into surrogate mothers.

"We have been very successful with Fatu... So far we have 12 pure northern white rhino embryos," David Ndeereh, the acting deputy director for research at the Wildlife Research and Training Institute, a Kenyan state agency, said.

Share this story
Retracing the footsteps of their fathers, 50 years later
When former Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited Kayole this week, he unwittingly followed in his father’s footsteps in search of blessings.
Widows' killings linked to appetite for land, not witchcraft, say groups
Human rights defenders have called for an end to the killing of old and poor widows in Kisii, under the guise that they are witches.

.
RECOMMENDED NEWS

;
Feedback