NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The Ministry of Tourism has announced that 8 eggs have been harvested from two female rhinos, a step towards the revival of the Northern White Rhino which is near extinction.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says the eggs were harvested from the last two living female rhinos, a 14-year-old rhino named Fatu, while 2 eggs were from 31 year old Najin both based at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
The procedure was performed by a team of scientists and conservationists from Europe, with the hope of helping to create viable embryos that can be incubated by other rhinos acting as surrogates.
According to the CS, the scientists will transfer the sample to a lab in Italy and attempt to fertilize them with frozen sperm from a Northern White Rhino male.
Scientists first harvested eggs from the females last year, as part of a team from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Italian-based Avantea Lab among others.