The northern white rhino is an iconic animal on the very brink of extinction with just two females left in the world; Najin and her daughter Fatu. The last male, Sudan, died of old age in March 2018. All hope of saving the species is pinned on in vitro fertilisation (IVF), using the stored sperm from several males to fertilise eggs and then implanting the embryos.

The challenge we face is that the number of eggs we can collect limits the number of baby rhinos that can be born. So far, a few eggs have been collected from Fatu and made into embryos, whereas attempts from the older Najin have proved unsuccessful. However, the potential exists for many more eggs to be generated from small pieces of rhino ovarian tissue, removed without harming the rhinos. Led by Professor Suzannah Williams, researchers working on the Rhino Fertility Project at Oxford propose to develop and optimise this technique. This is a vital first step in rescuing the northern white rhino and other endangered rhino species, but time is running out and we are seeking your support.

Find out more about Rhino Fertility