“White rhino species on brink of extinction”

“White rhino species on brink of extinction”

Jason Straziuso, the Associated Press

December 11, 2014 Ol Pejeta, Kenya

The experiment to move by plane four highly endangered rhinos from a Czech Republic zoo to East Africa and drive them to the savannah grasslands of Mount Kenya with the hope that they will be better able to produce a calf in that natural environment has all but failed. The object was to stave off extinction of this rare and imposing animal.

Half of the world’s three remaining white rhinos are to be found in Northern Kenya and their keepers have opined, for the first time publicly, that their one surviving male and two females will not reproduce naturally. Their plan to keep the species alive will now be through in vitro fertilization.

Richard Vigne of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where the rhinos have lived since 2009 has said “We always knew from the beginning that the chances of working were small even if bred. They have been returned to Africa from a zoo and they’ve thrived in that environment . In that way it has been a success. The fact they haven’t bred is clearly a massive disappointment.”