Elenco News

23rd August 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya: Successful Egg Harvest Breaks New Ground in Saving the Northern White Rhinoceros

On August 22, 2019, a team of veterinarians successfully harvested eggs from the last two remaining females of the Northern White Rhino species, who live in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. This...
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25th June 2019 – Berlin, Germany: The BioRescue Project to save the Northern White Rhino is financed with € 4.2 million

Today on June 25th, 2019, a joint press conference taking place in Berlin has announced the launch of the research project BioRescue for the rescue of the Northern White Rhino, which is threatened...
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9th-12th May 2019 – Bologna, Italy: Medical Science Festival

The fifth edition of the Medical Science Festival was held in Bologna between 9th-12th May 2019, and focused on The Intelligence of Health. The Festival saw the participation of internationally...
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14th-17th February 2019 – Hong Kong: Asian Horse Week and Longines Masters Series

The Longines Masters Series, one of the largest annual show jumping championships, took place in Hong Kong from the 15th to the 17th February at AsiaWorld-Expo, where the Grand Slam of Show Jumping...
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23rd August 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya: Successful Egg Harvest Breaks New Ground in Saving the Northern White Rhinoceros


On August 22, 2019, a team of veterinarians successfully harvested eggs from the last two remaining females of the Northern White Rhino species, who live in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. This procedure has never been attempted in northern white rhinos before. The eggs were transported to Avantea in Cremona and will now be artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from a northern white rhino bull, and in the near future the embryo will be transferred to a southern white rhino surrogate mother. The successful procedure was a joint effort by AVANTEA, the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) Berlin, Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Najin and Fatu: the two remaining White Rhino females.

The procedure was the result of years of research, development, adjustments and practice. “Both the technique and the equipment had to be developed entirely from scratch”, says Prof. Thomas Hildebrandt from Leibniz-IZW. The procedure was conducted with a probe, guided by ultrasound, which harvested immature egg cells (oocytes) from the ovaries of the animals when placed under general anaesthetic.

“Yesterday’s operation means that producing a northern white rhino embryo in vitro – which has never been done before – is a tangible reality for the first time,” says Prof. Cesare Galli from Avantea, which is leading the development of the assisted reproduction techniques used to save the Northern White Rhino. Avantea will now fertilise the eggs in vitro using the cryo-preserved semen of Suni and Saút, aiming to produce a viable NWR embryo.

World first results in producing viable embryos and embryonic stem cell lines from the White Rhinoceros at Avantea were published last year in Nature Communications (see the article here)

These efforts are part of an international research project named “BioRescue”, in which Leibniz-IZW, Avantea, and Dvůr Králové Zoo participate, and which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

See the accompanying press release.