Hari Sreenivasan: It's been almost three weeks since the last male northern white rhino died at the animal conservancy in kenya, and now only two females of the subspecies remain. Scientists are looking into the possibility of saving the northern white rhino through in-vitro fertilization. In the meantime, Kenyan officials are stepping up actions to preserve the remaining rhino population within their borders. Newshour weekend's Zachary Green has more.
Zachary Green: This past thursday, Kenya's government expanded the rhino sanctuary in the country's Meru National Park, home to 104 black and southern white rhinos. The expansion nearly doubles the sanctuary's size, from 17 to 32 square miles. The Kenya wildlife service is also embarking on a two-week $600,000 project to tag and identify 22 rhinos living in the park. Officials and veterinarians are utilizing helicopters and dart guns to find and tranquilize the rhinos. Once sedated, the vets cut unique notches into the rhino's ears, so that they can be easily identified. Kenya wildlife services' lead vet, Francis Gakuya, says this is the most reliable way to monitor the animals in the park.
Francis Gakuya: Ear notches are permanent marks and you can be able to use them for the life of the animal, they are permanent. The horn transmitters which we usually put on animals have a shelf life, they usually take two to three years then the battery goes down. So after that, you are not able to track that animal, unless you immobilize it again and put another one, meaning then you have to keep on doing the same.
Zachary Green:Using these methods to monitor and track its small rhino population, Kenya hopes it can save these animals from poachers and, hopefully, from the same fate as their northern white cousins.