The disappearance of the northern white rhino
“The extinction of a race like this: the weaklings knees sperm unable to fertilize, ovarian cysts. Northern white rhinos are only five on earth. Their disappearance is inevitable.
Scientists and conservationists hope that one day, thanks to advances in science, it will be possible to raise the artificially: design, through in vitro fertilization, the “baby rhinoceros specimens” that would be implanted into a surrogate mother to another subspecies. But before that, the northern white rhino will die one by one. “There is still more than five, so they are very close to extinction,” summarizes Jan Stejskal, Czech Zoo Dvur Kralove. It is through this zoo that five members of this subspecies, victim pest conflicts for decades in their endemic area, Central Africa, are still alive. The property was purchased six in the 70 Sudan, some of whom had even given small. The zoo owns the past five individuals, scattered across three continents, one is still within its walls, another in California San Diego Zoo, and three in the Kenyan Ol Pejeta reserve, close to their natural environment. “I still want to believe that there is hope of saving them. The best we can do is to harvest sperm and eggs for future in vitro fertilization, and wait for the technology is sufficiently developed to give us a chance to reproduce, “says M.Stejskal. All hopes now rest on egg and sperm frozen stocks made in recent years: over the years, the chances of the species to reproduce naturally gradually vanished.
Sudan, which is with Najin and Fatu female Ol Pejeta to, reserves of 35,000 hectares in the Kenyan center, is the last male alive. Now at 43, he has exceeded the life expectancy of rhinos, and the semen is not very efficient. Najin, 25, can not in any event not be mounted: its hind legs are too weak. All couplings tempted with Fatu, the daughter of Najin, 14, have them unsuccessful. In San Diego, Nola past the age of reproduction. And Dvur Kralove, Nabire, 31, is suffering from ovarian cysts.
– Lucrative Horn –
The three white rhinos in Kenya sheltered arrived in the Ol Pejeta reserve in 2009. The zoo in Dvur Kralove hoped when in placing the animals in a natural area, they reproduce better. This was not the case. “We have made a number of matings and at one point, we really believed that Fatu was pregnant,” says Dr. Peter Morkel, an expert vet rhinos who works for the animal rights group Back to Africa. “I think we were very close “a success. Fatu, the youngest of the northern white rhino still alive, will probably be the last representative of his race. “It is likely that we will see the disappearance of a species. This is the reality, they are going to end here,” summarizes Richard Vigne, general manager of the reserve.
“It’s a symbol of what humans do to the planet, it is not just about rhinos,” he said. “This happens to all kinds of animals, large and small, across the planet,” he said, lamenting decades of passivity in the face of this disaster. The extinction of the northern white rhino is simply more noticeable because the animal is imposing. All over the world, rhinos are threatened by man, poached. Rhino horn is selling more than 55,000 euros per kg in Asia, particularly in China, where in Vietnam, where it is believed to alleged medicinal properties – rhino horn is however made of keratin that makes up our fingernails . The northern white rhino was particularly affected by the phenomenon than its traditional territories – Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan (now South Sudan) – were beset by conflict and therefore largely areas of lawlessness conducive to criminal activities. “The man is completely responsible” for its extinction, says Mr. Vigne.
Rhinos are on the earth, in their present form for 26 million years. Until the mid-nineteenth century, they were still more than a million across Africa. The northern white rhino has disappeared in the wild there ten years and soon will go the way of the western black rhino, off in 2011.
– ‘Like losing a child’ –
Some also wonder what rhymes to try to resurrect in the future, species, if it can not live in the wild. “If they just serve as museum specimens in zoos, then it is perhaps better to let them go away,” said Dr. Rob Brett, Regional Director for Africa at NGO Fauna and Flora International. Even if all goes to prove him wrong, Mohammed Doyo, ranger who looks after Sudan, Najin and Fatu wants him even believe they arrive to breed naturally.
When he speaks, rhinos listen. They baulk visitors uncomfortable with such proximity with bulky animals, returning to rest in their enclosure, or head of a heavy step towards their food. “Losing such an animal will be like losing a child,” he said, a few steps from Fatu, who delights of 4 kg of carrots and bananas that he has thrown him.
Here too, however, we must deter poachers to tackle them. Then at night, they are escorted by armed guards. And to avoid the lusts, we cut off their horns. ”
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