A southern white rhino female at the San Diego Zoo in California is pregnant by artificial insemination, a fact which could be a huge support in the struggle of rescuing the nearly extinct rhinos species such as the northern white rhinos. The staff from the Californian Zoo a few days ago that Victoria, one of their rhinos, was inseminated and it would take about a year and two months for the embryo to develop.
The San Diego Zoo Conservation Research Institute stated that this procedure is a big leap in the genetically recover of the northern white rhino, a somehow distant “cousin” of the southern white rhino.
After the death of the renowned northern white rhino male Sudan “only two northern white rhinos exist on Earth but unfortunately both are females,” the text noted, thus, the proliferation of this particular species is in the hands of genetic manipulation.
Artificial insemination is a very difficult procedure for saving the northern white rhinos species
Prior to the birth of a northern white rhino, several important phases must be accomplished, including genome sequencing, in order to depict the genetic divergence with the closest existing subspecies, which is, in this case, the southern white rhino.
Besides, it would be mandatory to produce a stem cell which could be easily transformed into sperm and egg, by using the already-preserved northern white rhinos cells.
Despite such a multitude of difficult tasks, the scientists are quite optimistic that the northern white rhinos will be born using artificial insemination sometime in the upcoming 10 to 15 years.
If this is a successful procedure, it will be applied to other endangered rhino species, including the Sumatran and the Java rhinos species.
The decline of the northern white rhinos was mainly due to poaching, as there are many myths regarding the healing properties of the rhinoceros’ organs.