Over the last 20 years, one largely unknown and uncredited institution (the Frozen Zoo) has made remarkable animal conservation achievements.

The zoo is located in San Diego, they have created potentially the only chance for northern white rhino’s survival and has already given animals close to and in some case over the brink a second chance.

While it may sound like a zoo hosting polar bears and penguins you won’t have them here. Instead, you will find cryobanks of cells from endangered species from around the world.

Their genetic material has helped prevent multiple species from going extinct; the cloning of extremely endangered and undomesticated Przewalski’s horse, a species of humpbacked wild ox called an Indian Guar, a Banteng and the list goes on.

The Frozen Zoo has been active for 50 years and was established in 1972 by biologist Kurt Benirschke. A sign above his door reads “you must collect things for reasons you don’t yet understand,” referring to the skin cell samples stored at -196c.

In total, the Frozen Zoo has samples from 10,500 different animals from 1,220 species and among them are the only frozen samples from a male Northern White Rhino; 12 samples in total. They have managed to create stem cells which may be used to create a sperm to fertilize an egg which would have to be carried by the closely related southern white rhino.

Frozen Zoo isn’t the only organisation to collect and freeze samples of endangered animals in cryobanks.

Nature’s Safe founded by Tullis Matson said, “The task is enormous, nobody can do this on their own. There are a million species at risk. We need 50 different genetic samples from each, so that means 50 million samples; for each of those, we need five vials for each sample, so that’s hundreds of millions of samples that need to be stored.”

How do you feel about this process of saving endangered species?

Want to keep up with the latest news? Check out the rest of our articles here and for all things sports click here.

Sharing is Caring

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>