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Natural World

Only three northern white rhinos now remain

May 15, 2016 | Comment icon 31 comments



Two of the three remaining northern white rhinos. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Guy lemal
After years of poaching, the world's population of northern white rhinos has been reduced to three.
Few species on Earth share the level of critical endangerment as these animals and now, with a mere three individuals remaining, the fate of the northern white rhino hangs in the balance.

Situated in Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy, this lone trio remains under armed guard at all times.

But not all is necessarily lost. While none of the rhinos are capable of giving birth, an international team of scientists from the US, Germany, Italy and Japan are set to attempt the impossible by removing the eggs from the last two females and creating viable embryos from them.
If all goes well, a surrogate rhino would then be used to carry the babies to term.

It will be the first time anyone has ever attempted such a procedure but at this point it remains the only hope to save the species. Some critics have argued that the resources would be better spent protecting other species of rhino, but it's likely the attempt will be made anyway.

"Unless we act now, the northern white rhino will go extinct," said Professor Thomas Hildebrandt.

"And donít forget that, once we have developed IVF and stem cell technologies to save it, we will then be able to use them to rescue other threatened species."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (31)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by MJNYC 6 years ago
If you really believe this then I feel sorry for you. An animal does not if it killing the last of a species. If a cat knew it was killing the last few mice, it would let them multiply to sustain itself further. They do not have that capability. Humans do. Humans have the knowledge and resources to make a difference and preserve a species. We should use that skill. Your thought would also apply to someone who decides to kill your parents, right? Well said, I don't need to answer. Sorry, I truly think comparing us to the "animal" kingdom does us and the animals no good at all. Animals are not i... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by XenoFish 6 years ago
The way of the dodo. I guess once these three die they'll have to poach something else.
Comment icon #24 Posted by CJ1983 6 years ago
Really? Acting like a barbarian is natural? So, we should all act without manners, or morals or kindness? The animal world does not kill for sport or kill to extinction. Sorry, your statement is just dumb. Have you never seen video of orcas playing catch with seals? And no, they don't always eat them. They also kill sharks for the hell of it, they know sharks need to swim to breath, and they hold them in place and turn them upside down to essentially suffocate them. Pure sport killing machine.
Comment icon #25 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Only 3 left? Dang.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Yamato 6 years ago
It was dreadful when there were 300. Now it's too late. Got trillions more to spend on oil, no time for this! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Comment icon #27 Posted by MJNYC 6 years ago
Have you never seen video of orcas playing catch with seals? And no, they don't always eat them. They also kill sharks for the hell of it, they know sharks need to swim to breath, and they hold them in place and turn them upside down to essentially suffocate them. Pure sport killing machine. Ok. and that means? That gives us free reign to do whatever we like because Orcas do? It's been determined (on this thread) that orcas and cats kill for sport. Not sure their reasoning of doing what they do, but I know that we can reason and we should. We should always err on the side of kindness.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
It doesn't change the fact that all our behaviors, whether angelic or beastly, are just as totally, absolutely natural as that of any "dumb" animal, we ARE animals after all. We are not special. Other animals have intelligence and an emotional life as well. The poachers are simply animals killing other animals just like cats killing animals they don't eat. THAT should be pretty outrageous animal behavior as well. A rooster will just hop on a hen at will. Is it acceptable for us to do that to women?
Comment icon #29 Posted by DarkHunter 6 years ago
I'm not saying that conservation isn't important, but can anyone tell me the difference between a northern white rhino and a southern white rhino. From just a quick Google search I can't really find any real difference other then that there are 3 northern white rhinos and about 20,000 southern white rhinos. It seems to me that a lot of this species going extinct is coming from one Australian professor who claims that northern white rhinos are a separate species then southern white rhinos while the general consensus is that they are just a sub species that are basically the exact same rhino but... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by CJ1983 6 years ago
Ok. and that means? That gives us free reign to do whatever we like because Orcas do? It's been determined (on this thread) that orcas and cats kill for sport. Not sure their reasoning of doing what they do, but I know that we can reason and we should. We should always err on the side of kindness. Kindness from a mouse to a cat will never be reciprocated. I do not condone poaching, but from the perspective of someone who has to resort to something such as poaching to earn money to live is understandable to me.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
Kindness from a mouse to a cat will never be reciprocated. I do not condone poaching, but from the perspective of someone who has to resort to something such as poaching to earn money to live is understandable to me. I think most understand that money helps people do what shouldn't do.


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