SAN DIEGO --- One of only four northern white rhinos left in the world lives in San Diego, and she may be dealing with health issues.
CNN reports that 41-year-old Nola is struggling with a recurring abscess in her right hip. Nola lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where veterinarians have been cleaning out the wound and taking blood and skin samples, CNN said.
A white rhino died in Europe in August, leaving only four left. The other three live in Kenya, two females and one male. Local researchers are in a race against the clock to keep the white rhino from extinction.
In August, Dr. Barbara Durant spoke with 10News about a project at Safari Park's Frozen Zoo in which eggs and sperm from living and recently deceased rhinos would be used to create an embryo. They would then use in vitro fertilization to impregnate a southern white rhino, turning it into a surrogate mother.
"It is a little bit on the science fiction end of things, but all of these things have been done in other species. We know that these techniques can work," Durrant said.
The Safari Park hopes a baby northern white rhino will be born in about 10 years.