TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An international team of scientists in Kenya have successfully extracted eggs from the last two remaining northern white rhino females in the world.
On Tuesday, Aug. 18, the team of experts harvested 10 miniature egg cells at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
The team said this was a step on the way to possibly saving the subspecies from extinction.
The eggs will be used to reproduce more white rhinos through a surrogate carrier- since neither one can carry out a pregnancy.
The eggs were immediately flown to a lab in Italy to be artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from deceased northern white rhino bulls.
The goal is create viable northern white rhino embryos.
Three embryos were successfully generated during two previous procedures.
The next step is to select southern white rhinos, another subspecies, from which a surrogate mother will be selected.
Roughly 20,000 southern white rhinos remain in Africa.