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Only two northern white rhinos exist in the world: both are female and neither can bear calves. But scientists have not given up hope of saving the species from extinction.
They succeeded last year in creating hybrid embryos using frozen northern white rhino sperm and eggs from a southern white rhino, a closely related sub-species.
Embryos - Surrogate - Mother - Term - Rhino
Now they are working on how to implant the embryos into a surrogate mother to bring them to term, and once they've mastered that, they can create purebred northern white rhino embryos that would be carried by a southern white.
As part of that work a team led by Thomas Hildebrandt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin harvested egg cells from a female southern white rhino, 17-year-old Hope, at a zoo park in the Polish city of Chorzow.
Rhinos - Times - Zoos - Europe
They have recently done the same with selected southern white rhinos about 18 times in zoos across Europe.
With the size of a rhino and its weight of about two tons, it was another challenge for the scientists to find a way of harvesting the eggs without harming the animal.
Ovaries - Meters - Instrument
As the ovaries are about two meters inside, they inserted an instrument they created for...
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