The northern white rhino is an iconic animal on the very brink of extinction with just two females left in the world. 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 two females are not producing eggs. However, a technique exists that could save the northern white rhino by enabling eggs to be grown from small pieces of their 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, but time is running out and we are seeking your support.