Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Sudan, world's last male white rhino dies

Sudan, world's last male white rhino dies Sudan, world's last male white rhino dies
Melinda Barton | 20 March, 2018, 16:57

Sudan was 45-years-old (about 90 human years) and lived at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy with two other female northern white rhinos - Fatu and Najin - his direct descendants.

Only one of three of its subspecies, Sudan came to represent the last hope, protected by round-the-clock armed security and given a 700-acre enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

It stated that Sudan's condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours and he was unable to stand up as he was suffering a great deal.

"We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn", Peter Knights, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based environmental organization WildAid, said in the statement. A year ago he was listed as "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World" on the Tinder dating app in a fundraising effort.

A copy of his genetic material was taken on the day of his death in the hope that future technology could potentially revive the species seemingly doomed for extinction.

Semen from dead northern white rhinos is stored in various locations around the world, and it is critical to keep the two females alive until the in vitro fertilization techniques are perfected, Vigne with the conservancy told the AP earlier this month.

Fatu and Najin are now the last rhinos of this kind in the world and the fate of the subspecies lies in their ability to become pregnant through IVF. "However, despite the fact that they were seen mating, there were no successful pregnancies", the conservancy said.

Rangers caring for Sudan described him as gentle. "But we should not give up", said Jan Stejskal, director of global projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic.

However, demand for rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine and dagger handles in Yemen fueled a poaching crisis in the 1970s and 1980s that largely wiped out the northern white rhino population in Uganda, Central African Republic, Sudan and Chad.

His bachelor status saw him join dating app Tinder in an effort to raise funds to save the northern white rhino.