BioRescue consortium continues ambitious rhino reproduction programme with successful oocyte collection at Schwerin Zoo (Germany).
The team of scientists from the Leibniz-IZW successfully collected 26 oocytes from 2 southern white rhino females in the German Zoo of Schwerin on November 18, 2020. The collected oocytes have been transferred to the Avantea laboratory in Italy, where they are going to be matured and fertilized using the ICSI technology. These procedures are conducted by the BioRescue consortium in order to overcome reproduction challenges of southern white rhinos in European Zoos, for example when mating partners for females cannot be transferred due to the current pandemic. They can also serve as blueprints for similar procedures in northern white rhinos to avert their extinction.
Dr. Susanne Holtze (BioRescue Scientist, Leibniz-IZW) operating the ultrasound machine together with Prof. Dr. Thomas Hildebrandt (BioRescue Project Head and Head of Department of Reproduction Management, Leibniz-IZW) and Prof. Dr. Robert Hermes (BioRescue Scientist and Rhino Specialist, Leibniz-IZW) during the oocyte collection procedure. | Photo by Jon Juarez and Elena Gyldenkerne