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San Diego Zoo Global has announced that mother Victoria gave birth on Sunday to a healthy southern white rhino calf in the barn at the San Diego Zoo

First baby southern white rhino from frozen sperm is born at the San Diego Zoo, and gives hope to scientists who want to bring the northern rhino back from extinction

  • San Diego Zoo Global has announced that mother Victoria gave birth on Sunday to a healthy southern white rhino calf in the barn at the San Diego Zoo
  • Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 after hormone-induced ovulation
  • The calf will eventually be introduced to the other five female rhinos in the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center to help repopulate the species
  • The northern white rhino is a distant subspecies of the southern white rhino. Only two northern white rhinos are present on earth at the moment – both females
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A San Diego conservation organization says it has achieved the first successful artificial insemination birth of a southern white rhino in North America, an important step in saving another rhino species from extinction.

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San Diego Zoo Global announced that mother Victoria gave birth to a healthy southern rhino calf in the barn after half an hour of work in the shed of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

& # 39; Everyone at San Diego Zoo Global is delighted with the arrival of this special rhino calf & # 39 ;, said Barbara Durrant, director of reproductive science at San Diego Zoo Global.

Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 after hormone-induced ovulation.

Victoria wore her calf for more than a year – 493 days. Mother and calf remain on display for the public to give them time for now.

San Diego Zoo Global has announced that mother Victoria gave birth on Sunday to a healthy southern white rhino calf in the barn at the San Diego Zoo

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San Diego Zoo Global has announced that mother Victoria gave birth on Sunday to a healthy southern white rhino calf in the barn at the San Diego Zoo

The calf will eventually be introduced to the other five female rhinos in the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center – including Amani, another rhino who is pregnant by artificial insemination due to the birth in September or October.

"We are not only grateful for a healthy calf, but this birth is significant, as it is also a crucial step in our efforts to save the northern white rhino from the demise of extinction," Durrant said.

The northern white rhino is a distant subspecies of the southern white rhino. Only two northern white rhinos are on earth right now – both females.

Scientists say the southern white rhinos will serve as substitutes for northern white rhino embryos. The reproductive system of rhinos is very complex, but researchers are optimistic that a northern white rhino calf could be born from these processes within 10 to 20 years.

Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 after hormone-induced ovulation
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Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 after hormone-induced ovulation

Victoria was artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from the southern white rhino Maoto in March 2018 after hormone-induced ovulation

In May, scientists from the Polish zoo Chorzow successfully completed a procedure in which they returned a test tube embryo from a northern rhino to a female white rhino whose eggs were fertilized in vitro.

However, the embryo transferred to the zoo in Chorzow is smaller than expected. It remains to be seen whether it will implant into the mother's womb lining and result in pregnancy.

"There are many technical issues that will be resolved, but it will take time," Cesare Galli, whose company specializes in artificial horse reproduction, told The Associated Press in June.

The last male northern white rhino, called Sudan, died in March 2018. Scientists had saved frozen sperm samples from various men they hope to use to breathe new life into the species
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The last male northern white rhino, called Sudan, died in March 2018. Scientists had saved frozen sperm samples from various men they hope to use to breathe new life into the species

The last male northern white rhino, called Sudan, died in March 2018. Scientists had saved frozen sperm samples from various men they hope to use to breathe new life into the species

The last male northern white rhino, called Sudan, died in March 2018. Scientists had saved frozen sperm samples from various men they hope to use to breathe new life into the species.

Rhinos have long been poached because of their horns, and various subspecies are threatened with extinction. Southern rhinos are classified as almost endangered at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red list of endangered species.

Conservationists say rhinos are important for the survival of many other species because of the role they play in modeling their native habitat.

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