Evergreen Issues: Northern white rhino nears extinction, murdered Rio councilwoman celebrated and NASA plans for an asteroid

Every Tuesday we bring you issues that impact you as an outdoor loving woman. Whether it has to do with climate change or female empowerment, we scour the internet, including government bills, social media and local and national news, and deliver it to you – so you know.

1. northern white rhino on brink of extinction

The world’s last male northern white rhinoceros died in Kenya, Monday.

According to NPR, scientists at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy said Sudan, who was 45 years old, took a turn for the worst in February. This past weekend, the rhino was no longer able to stand up, so, veterinarians decided to euthanize him.

Sudan was brought to the sanctuary in 2009, where scientists hoped he would mate with one of two female white rhinos. It took him years to readjust to living out of captivity, though, and he never did inseminate the other rhinos.

The vet who was in charge of Sudan says they were able to collect some of his sperm, but there’s another huge hurdle to jump: one of the two remaining female northern white rhinos is sterile and the other cannot physically carry a calf to full term.

“So, natural reproduction cannot take place, artificial insemination is not possible, so the only other option that we have to have a pure northern white rhino baby is to retrieve or to do something we call ovum pick-up, collect eggs from the females,” Dr. Steve Ngulu told NPR.

The fertilized eggs would need to be implanted in a southern white rhino, but taking eggs from a rhino has never been done. If scientists take the risk, there’s a chance the females could die, causing the species to go extinct.

2. murdered, black female politician becomes global symbol

The only black woman on Rio de Janeiro’s 51-member city council has become a global symbol of racial oppression, after being gunned down leaving a speech promoting black, female empowerment.

The Washington Post reports that while living, Marielle Franco, 34, was hardly known outside Rio, but since her horrifying death, she has been recognized around the world.

Franco was honored on the floor of the European Parliament, crowds from New York to Stockholm have protested her killing and a vigil is planned for today in Madrid.

While the killers might have intended to silence a black woman on a political fast track – and one challenging police corruption – the heinous crime has only amplified Franco’s voice.

3. nasa prepares for asteroid hit

An asteroid heading our way has a chance of hitting Earth in the year 2135.

Though the likelihood of the Empire-building-sized mass hitting us is small, NASA crews are in the midst of devising a plan.

From the Washington Post:

“If the asteroid — it is named Bennu — decides to go rogue, they could send a nearly nine-ton “bulk impactor” to push it out of Earth’s orbit. Or, more likely, they would gently nudge it out of its apocalyptic path using a nuclear device.”

In other words, NASA doesn’t want you to panic, but they are ready for anything.