Rhino species to die unless science can help

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White Rhinos Near Extinction
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Rhino species to die unless science can help
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT A family of White-Rhinos is seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT A male White-Rhino and a calf are seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT A male White-Rhino and a calf are seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT A White-Rhinos is seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT A family of White-Rhinos is seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT White-Rhinos are seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AYMERIC VINCENOT White-Rhinos are seen on August 7, 2014 at the Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary, in the Laikipia county, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. With camouflage uniforms, assault rifles, night vision goggles, thermal imaging devices and radios, wildlife rangers in Kenya's Ol Jogi rhino sanctuary prepare for night patrol in the 'war' against poaching. Kenya continues to lose precious wild animals with poachers having killed 26 rhinos and 111 elephants so far this year. Last year, 59 rhinos and 389 elephants were slain. AFP PHOTO / TONY KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
KENYA - 2013/10/29: White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) at Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KENYA - 2013/10/29: Tourists watching White rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) crossing the road at Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
With only six white rhinos left on the planet, extinction of the species seems imminent.
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OL PEJETA, Kenya (AP) -- The keepers of three of the last six northern white rhinos on Earth say it is highly unlikely the three will ever reproduce naturally.

Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced Wednesday that recent medical examinations of the three show the species is doomed to extinction, unless science can help. A park official says in vitro fertilization and genetics-based science known as de-extinction are being examined.

Five years ago four northern white rhinos were flown from a zoo in Prague to Kenya where it was hoped that the natural environment could lead to a pregnancy. One of the two males died earlier this year of an unknown cause. The other three are effectively infertile.

Though the northern white rhino is nearly extinct, southern white rhinos and black rhinos are not.

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