There might be hope yet for endangered rhinos after South African scientists unveil the first Cape buffalo to be produced via in vitro fertilisation. The buffalo bull calf, named Pumelelo, was born in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
“This success is of major importance for the prospective breeding of endangered species, and that is the reason why we are undertaking this work,” said Morné de la Rey, a veterinarian and managing director of Embryo Plus.
The project will now focus on applying the technique on the northern white rhino, an endangered species with just three animals left on the planet. San Diego Zoo Global has pledged to work with a team of scientists including Embryo Plus to save this rhino species, and has created a herd of southern white rhinos that are providing unprecedented information about the reproductive physiology of rhinos.
Pumelelo, the world’s first IVF Cape buffalo calf, and his surrogate mother. (Picture: embryoplus.com)
“We were delighted to hear about the success of this technique with Cape buffalo,” Dr Barbara Durrant, reproductive physiologist for San Diego Zoo Global, said. “We look forward to working with Embryo Plus in an effort to bring back the northern white rhino for the future.”
To find out more, read the original press release.