Officials from Dvůr Králové zoo and other international organisations have announced fresh progress in efforts to save the northern white rhino, of which only two remain alive. They have now created a third embryo that would be carried by another subspecies and the next step will be to identify suitable surrogates. I spoke to Dvůr Králové’s Jan Stejskal, who is coordinating efforts to preserve the northern white rhino.
Dvůr Králové Zoo is spearheading an international effort to save the Northern White Rhino which is on the brink of extinction. Last week an international team of experts trying to produce the world’s first test tube baby rhino made international headlines. I asked Dvůr Králové Zoo’s special projects coordinator Jan Stejskal, who is a member of the team, to report on the latest progress.
An international team of veterinarians, including experts from the Dvůr
Kralove Zoo, have managed to fertilize the eggs of the last two living
female white rhinos with the semen of dead males.
The last male, named Sudan, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in 2018, leaving two females, Najin, 30, and her daughter Fatu, 19, as the only survivors of the subspecies.
The Czech zoo sent four white rhinos to Kenya in 2009 and has spearheaded efforts to save the species from extinction.
Scientists note that the inseminated embryos may not develop. They expect to announce results on September 10.
An international team of veterinarians have successfully harvested eggs
from the last two surviving northern white rhinos on Earth, in the hope of
bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.
The effort to save the species is spearheaded by Dvůr Kralove Zoo, which in 2009 sent four northern white rhinos to Kenya in a bid to encourage them to breed.
The last male, named Sudan, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya last year, leaving two females, Najin, 30, and her daughter Fatu, 19, as the only survivors of the subspecies.
Neither can reproduce naturally and scientists are hoping to make embryos from the harvested oocytes and transfer them to a surrogate southern white rhino mother.
Two Barbary lion cubs have been born in Dvůr Králové Zoo, an important
breeder of large African mammals since the 1970s.
The cubs, one male and one female, have not yet been named. They were born in mid-May to a two-year old lioness named Khalila and a seven-year-old male named Bart.
The zoo did not announce the birth until it was clear they were healthy.
Barbary lions are a subspecies believed to have been extinct in the wild since the 1960s. Fewer than 100 are estimated to live in captivity.
Five endangered eastern black rhinos from Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic have been successfully relocated to Rwanda. The animals arrived in Akegara National Park in the east of the country on Monday afternoon. The move is part of an international effort to restore the critically endangered subspecies in the central African state, where the entire rhino population was wiped out as a result of the civil war in the 1990s.
The last surviving male Northern White Rhino died in the Ol Pejeta Conservatory in Kenya on Monday. He and two other females who represent the last of their breed belong to Dvůr Kralové Zoo which is spearheading international efforts to save the breed from extinction. I spoke over the phone to the zoo’s special projects coordinator Jan Stejskal who flew to Kenya when Sudan’s condition deteriorated and asked him what happened.
When Josef Vágner, head of the Dvůr Kralové Zoo, brought six Northern White Rhinos back from a trip to Sudan in the early 1970s he was criticized by the public for taking them from the wild. Now the zoo that he set up and the herd that was successfully bred there over the years may help to save the species that has been wiped off the face of the Earth by poachers. There are now three Northern White Rhinos left on the planet and all three belong to Dvůr Kralové Zoo and reside in a heavily guarded nature reserve in Kenya. Last week came the news that
A rare two-horned rhino called Eliška transported last year to the Mkomazi
National Park in Tanzania from Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic,
has died from injuries she suffered when attacked by a male rhino called
The news was confirmed by the zoo’s Jan Stejskal, who heads the international project. Eliška was meant to have helped boost the rhino population there; as the injury was internal, its seriousness was not apparent until it was too late.
The Dvůr Králové Zoo on Wednesday announced the birth of a rare black
rhino, a species which is on the brink of extinction.
It is the 45th rhino to be born in the zoo, which has been running a successful breeding programme for nearly 40 years. At the moment, there are only several hundred black rhinos living in the wild.