How IVF is reversing an imminent extinction


  • Researchers said last week that they had created another embryo — the third — of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, a remarkable success in an ongoing global mission to keep the species from going extinct.
  • “It’s amazing to see that we will be able to reverse the tragic loss of this subspecies through science,” a report by The Associated Press quoted Kenya’s wildlife minister, Najib Balala, as saying in a statement issued by the Kenya Wildlife Service and conservationists from Kenya, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Italy.

Facts for Prelims:

  • The northern white is one of the two subspecies of the white (or square-lipped) rhinocerous, which once roamed several African countries south of the Sahara.
  • The other subspecies, the southern white is, by contrast, the most numerous subspecies of rhino, and is found primarily in South Africa.
  • There is also the black (or hook-lipped) rhinocerous in Africa, which too, is fighting for survival, and at least three of whose subspecies are already extinct.
  • The Indian rhinocerous is different from its African cousins, most prominently in that it has only one horn.
  • There is also a Javan rhino, which too, has one horn, and a Sumatran rhino which, like the African rhinos, has two horns.


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