“Today, we are witnessing the extinction of a species that had survived for millions of years but could not survive mankind,”
Ami Vitale : National Geographic photographer
The last remaining male northern white rhino, “Sudan”, who lived at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, died on March 19th 2018. Sudan died of age related complications, which had led to degenerative changes in muscles & bones combined with extensive skin wounds. Sudan passed away at the age of 45, after being cared for by his dedicated rangers who guarded him 24 hours a day. He was unable to stand up and suffered a great deal in his last 24 hours. Hence he was euthanized by veterinarians at the conservancy.
Sudan was born in 1973 in South Sudan. He was captured in Shambe Sudan in 1975 and was shipped to Dvur Krulov zoo in the Czech Republic. In December 2009, he was moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He lived his later life at Ol Pejeta with his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu, who are the only 2 females of the subspecies alive. The second-to-last male in the world, Angalifu (who was beyond the breeding age) died in 2014, leaving Sudan as the only (fertile) male northern white rhino. However, breeding attempts with Sudan at Ol Pejeta were not successful. Nevertheless, Sudan’s genetic material was collected on the day he died, to support in vitro fertilization involving the two remaining females in future. Hence, certainly Sudan had been an impressive creature who contributed significantly for the survival of his species.
Northern white rhino is the rarest and most critically endangered subspecies of the two subspecies of white rhinoceros. The subspecies population is declining at an alarming rate as a result of poaching on account of high demand for rhino horn. By 2008, northern white rhino was considered extinct in the wild, according to the World Wide Fund, the global environment campaign. If this is going to persist, no longer would this magnificent and fragile planet be worthy of living. Hence, attention should be refocused on conserving other rhino species before it is too late.
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