Updates taken from Ol Pejeta Conservancy on the progress to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction. Please help them in donating to the cause – their goal is $200,000: https://donate.olpejetaconservancy.org/projects/sudan
In March 2018, Sudan sadly passed away leaving only two northern white rhinos on our planet. We were honoured to meet him several times and this is a touching tribute…https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10160153112205324&extid=34TnmhdTn3tqcX4v
The two remaining females, Najin & Fatu, are now creating history. At the time of Sudan’s death, the northern white species was rendered functionally extinct, however this changed for the better as a viable embryo was created in July 2018. The first ovum pick up took place in August 2018, the second just four months later. In spite of the delay for the final pick up, the whole team has remained focused on achieving their goal.
Joe with Najin & Fatu
On August 18th, 2020, on Ol Pejeta another huge step towards the renaissance of the northern white rhino was taken. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of scientists and conservationists have made it from Europe to perform the third ovum pick up on the northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu. Although delayed by eight months, their dedication to the mission has been relentless and all are hopeful that this procedure will lead to additional northern white rhino embryos, who will then join the three that are currently on ice until a suitable surrogate is available. They were able to harvest eight eggs from Fatu and two eggs from Najin. The procedures went according to plan and both rhinos are doing just fine. These precious eggs are already on their way back to the Avantea clinic in Italy, where scientists will attempt to fertilise them with frozen sperm from a northern white rhino bull.
Photos by Ami Vitale – recent ovum collection by scientists The BioRescue team
Their journey has been incredible and BBC’s epic production, Seven World’s, One Planet, featuring the incomparable master of nature documentaries, Sir David Attenborough, was on Ol Pejeta for the final episode featuring Najin and Fatu – watch this episode here https://www.bbcamerica.com/shows/seven-worlds-one-planet/video-extras/season-1/episode-07-africa/the-last-of-the-northern-white-rhinos
David Attenborough with Ol Pejeta’s rangers
The development of this project is creating hope for hundreds of other species who also lie on the brink of extinction. It simply must be done, but it’s going to cost a lot of money. There’s less funding than ever for projects like these, but they remain as important as they always were. Ol Pejeta is appealing for help to get this project to the finish line, and open up whole new possibilities for nature to make a comeback. https://donate.olpejetaconservancy.org/projects/sudan