Scientists say the loss of the northern white rhino could be reversed by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – months after the last male died in Kenya.
The scientists say they have produced viable embryos using the sperm of deceased animals.
They were made using the eggs of a very closely related sub-species – the southern white rhino – which were fertilised with sperm from dead males.
One of the scientists, Prof Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, says the same method could be used to bring the world’s most endangered mammal back from the brink.
He says they are now on track to produce a test tube baby rhino in just a few years.