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Zoo announces new international collaboration to save northern white rhino

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/AP) - The San Diego Zoo announced Thursday a new international collaboration in a conservation effort to protect all remaining northern white rhinos from extinction. 

Just four northern white rhinos are left in the world, including 41-year-old Nola, a female who lives at the San Diego Zoo. The other three live in Kenya.

Speaker of the California State Assembly Toni Atkins joined the CEO of OL Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya along with the San Diego Zoo Global rhino experts to make the announcement. 

"We have a well deserved reputation for innovation and breakthroughs, but his would be a true marvel, replacing what we thought had been lost forever," said Speaker Atkins. 

Recently, the passage of Assembly Bill 96, which was introduced by Speaker Atkins, bans the sale of rhino and ivory in the state. 

San Diego Zoo Global has been working for decades to keep a sustainable population of rhinos safe while working to protect rhinos in sanctuaries in the wild. Poaching of rhinos have reached high numbers with an average of one rhino poached every eight hours.

See related story: [6 white rhinos arrive in San Diego to be surrogate mothers

Last week, the San Diego Zoo welcomed six southern white rhinos from South Africa in hopes they'll become surrogate mothers for the critically endangered northern white rhino. 

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