Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies; Subspecies Now Survived Only By 2 Female White Rhinos

The Logical Indian Crew

March 20th, 2018

Courtesy: USA Today, NPR, ABC News, CNN  | Image Credit: Potentash

 

In a tragic occurring, the last male northern white rhino named Sudan died at the of 45 at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya. After the death of Sudan, the world is now left with only two female rhinos of this subspecies.

Sudan was said to be in poor health due to old age from last few days. After his condition worsened in the last 24 hours, Ol Pejeta, the Kenya Wildlife Service and veterinarians at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic decided to euthanize him on Tuesday.


A gentle giant

In 1975, Sudan was captured at the age of two. He was then taken to  Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic. Sudan was then relocated in 2009 to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Laikipia County, Kenya after the zoo ran into financial troubles and the rhinos failed to breed.

Calling him a gentle giant,  Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, said,

He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him.”

The decision to euthanize him was taken after his conditions worsened and he could not even stand properly. The conservancy said, “Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal.



Sudan is survived by his daughter, a 28-year-old female white rhino named Najin and granddaughter Fatu.

Sudan came famously came into the limelight after Tinder, a dating app named him as “the most eligible bachelor” as part of the campaign to raise fund to save the subspecies.

During his last days, Sudan was surrounded by armed guards all the time to protect him from poachers.


What does future hold for the northern white rhino subspecies?

Due to old age, it was really difficult for Sudan to be able to naturally mount a female. He also suffered from low sperm count, making procreation even more difficult.

Female Rhino Najin could have conceived but she had weak hind legs making it difficult to support a mounted male.

Sampere said that researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left.

As a result of poaching, the western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago. According to the conservation group “Save The Rhino”, all the five remaining rhino species are said to be endangered.

Poaching has been the primary reason for the extinction of the rhino species. With the death of Sudan, we have pushed the subspecies further towards extinction. This high human disregard for other species is extremely appalling. It is very disappointing that we as humans, instead of co-existing with the other species, think of ourselves as sole owners of this planet. Going by the current events, there is a high possibility that our future generations may never be able to witness the kind of eco-diversity which we are fortunate enough to see.

The Logical Indian hopes that strict laws are put into place against poaching and that these laws are effectively implemented.

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