Ntombi is a six-year-old black rhino from South Africa, one of around 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild. She’s also the starting point for what a team of scientists hope to be a “bio-bank” of genetic information that could be used to save the species. ISCRM’s Interim Director, Chuck Murry, is a member of the team.
Ntombi would be the first black rhino to have its genome sequenced, part of a larger trend of conservationists gathering the genetic data of threatened animals to protect them from extinction. The research will be used to strengthen understanding of the species and how it evolved, but it will also lay the bedrock for lab-grown horns that could be used to flood black markets and drive down demand for poaching.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.