Historic Artificially Conceived Southern White Rhino Born at SD Zoo

19 Sep 2019 admin

first_img In what is being called a “historic” birth, a southern white rhino calf conceived through hormone-induced ovulation and artificial insemination was born Sunday at San Diego Zoo.The healthy male calf was born to mother, Victoria, who remained calm during the 30-minute labor, according to a San Diego Zoo Global press release.Artificial insemination of southern white rhinos has rarely been successful; this is the first successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America.“All of us at San Diego Zoo Global are elated with the arrival of this special rhino calf,” said Barbara Durrant, Ph.D., Henshaw endowed director of Reproductive Sciences, San Diego Zoo Global. “We are so pleased Victoria and the calf are doing well. She is very attentive to her baby, and the calf is up and walking, and nursing frequently. Not only are we thankful for a healthy calf, but this birth is significant, as it also represents a critical step in our effort to save the northern white rhino from the brink of extinction.”Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen semen from southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 following hormone-induced ovulation. Victoria carried her calf for 493 days.This is the first successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America and brings us one step closer to saving the northern white rhino from extinction. https://t.co/NuT2AIVAw2 pic.twitter.com/Qnf2KHyagY— San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark) July 29, 2019According to he Zoo, Victoria and her calf will remain off-exhibit to the public for an undisclosed period of time, to allow them to bond.The calf will eventually be introduced to the other five female rhinos at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center— including Amani, also pregnant through artificial insemination and due to give birth in September or October.The artificial insemination and successful birth of the rhino calf represents a critical step in the organization’s ongoing work to develop the scientific knowledge required to genetically recover the northern white rhino, a distant subspecies of the southern white rhino. Only two northern white rhinos currently remain on Earth and, unfortunately, both are female.Animal care staff reported that Victoria did extremely well and remained calm during the 30-minute labor. The calf is nursing well, and mother and baby are bonding in a quiet nursing setting. pic.twitter.com/qsyOQMLmRY— San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark) July 29, 2019Scientists need to accomplish multiple steps to produce a northern white rhino. One of the first steps completed involved sequencing the genome of the northern white rhino to clarify the extent of genetic divergence from its closest relative, the southern white rhino. Another step requires conversion of cells preserved from 12 individual northern white rhinos in the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research’s Frozen Zoo to stem cells that could develop into sperm and eggs.But while the techniques still need to be perfected and the reproductive systems of rhinos are extremely complex, researchers are hopeful that a northern white rhino calf could be born from these processes within 10 to 20 years. This work also may be applied to other rhino species, including critically endangered Sumatran and Javan rhinos.More on Geek.com:Tam, Malaysia’s Last Male Sumatran Rhino, DiesRare Baby Rhino Born Using Artificial Insemination at Zoo MiamiAnaconda Gets Pregnant Without a Male, Has ‘Virgin Birth’ at Aquarium Zoo Officials Slam Visitors for Carving Names on Rhino’s BackTest Tube Embryo Transfer Could Bring Near-Extinct Rhinos Back to Life Stay on targetlast_img

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