IVF is being used to save the northern white rhino from extinction

Scientists at a zoo in United Kingdom are using IVF technology in a bid to save the northern white rhino from extinction, AAP reports.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only three northern white rhinos left in the world – all in captivity in Kenya – while there are over 20,000 southern white rhinos.

Earlier this week scientists from Longleat safari park in Warminster, England, extracted nine eggs from three female southern white rhinos.


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The eggs have now been sent to a clinic in Italy, where researchers will use them to develop IVF technology that could eventually be used with genetic material from the northern whites.

If that fails, and scientists are unable to use IVF to create a pure northern white rhino, they plan to create an embryo using eggs from southern whites and sperm from a northern white to create a new hybrid species.