Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhino, Dies in Kenya
Sudan, the last Male Northern White Rhinoceros was born in 1973. When he was two years old, Sudan along with five other White Rhinoceros was captured by the animal trappers in Shambe, Sudan. He was then moved to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic.
White Rhinoceros or Square-Lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum) is the largest surviving species of rhinoceros. There are two subspecies, the Southern White Rhinoceros and the much rare Northern White Rhinoceros. Sudan was a Northern White Rhinoceros and currently only two female Northern White Rhinoceros are alive (Fatu 17 and Najin 27) which are under 24 hours armed guard.
Southern White Rhinoceros
Southern White Rhinoceros is by far the most abundant subspecies of Rhino in the world as there are about 17,460 Southern White Rhinos in the wild as of December 2007.
It goes without saying, the number of Southern White Rhinos outnumber the other Rhino subspecies whereby South Africa is reported to have the maximum number of this subspecies (~92%).
Northern White Rhinoceros
This is the most Critically Endangered and almost extinct subspecies in the wild.
At first, there were about six Northern White Rhinoceros living in the Dvůr Králové Zoo (Czech Republic) out of which four Rhinos were moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Kenya) as part of the ‘Last Chance to Survive’ breeding program in the hope of the Rhinos breeding successfully and saving the species from extinction.
Under the orders of the Kenyan Government in 2015, Sudan was kept under 24 – hour armed guard to prevent poachers from harming the species.
End of the last Northern white Male Rhino
Sudan suffered from an infection in his right hind leg towards the end of 2017 and even though his condition improved, the infection returned and in March 2018, his condition deteriorated even after being under intensive care. After suffering from age-related complications, Sudan was euthanized on 19th March 2018.
Extinct indeed? Maybe!
The possibility of an IVF for a Rhino? Yes!!!
Scientists are exploring the possibility of saving the subspecies from extinction through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Previous attempts to get Sudan to mate naturally had failed as Sudan had been infertile for years. According to a report from BBC, scientists have been working on developing an IVF technique since January 2015.
Frozen sperm was stored in an institute in Germany and eggs were as well harvested from the remaining two female Rhinos. But the two female Rhinos wouldn’t be able to carry out the pregnancy due to certain physical ailments
Mr. Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy has insisted that it is important for the remaining female Northern White Rhinos to survive for some more time as the IVF procedure is yet to be perfected and it could prove difficult while applying.
A Southern White Rhino female would serve as a surrogate mother during this process as reported by Futurism, a science and technology news portal.
Swipe right for Sudan; Sudan’s Tinder Profile
Tinder teamed up with the Sudanese guardians from OI Pejeta Conservancy to raise awareness and funds for the development of IVF for Rhinos.
Here is what Sudan’s bio on Tinder reads:
I’m one of a kind. No seriously, I’m the last male white rhino on planet earth. I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of my species literally depends on us getting together. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. No problems performing under pressure. 6ft tall and 5,000lbs if it matters.
Sudan’s demise has caused an uproar online leading to many tributes. James Mwenda, who cared for Sudan shared his heartbreaking tribute on Facebook. Mwenda said he had promised Sudan to raise awareness and educate about the importance of conversation and the dangers of extinction.
Here’s the complete message:
Goodbye Sudan, I don’t need to say it here that I loved you.you know it well from all the talks and the moments we had together, being with you for the last few years completely changed me, and as you taught me daily I continued to teach and inspire my fellow humans to be conscious and sensitive of our environment. I promised to be your voice(I ain’t sure whether I duly and diligently fulfilled that) but I did my best.
When I look back, In my years of caretaking you, my sadness and the essence of losing you are overcome by a contentment that I gave you all the best.Sudan I don’t regret anything as deep within my heart I gave you everything.
What I regret most,is whether my fellow humanity has learned from your existence.i tried as much to help them hear you through my thoughts and the lessons I learned through our personal day to day life, though still, my voice has been small, I have testimonies that you have left an imprint in the hearts of many especially those I interacted with.
If I was powerful in the face of earth and conservation world 19/04/18 would be “Sudan, the legend day” a day when parents should take their kids out and teach them how and why we need to embrace the environment.a day where a pic of Sudan could be presented in the classroom and have the kids draw Him so that they are conscious of extinction and how Sudan’s existence meant.a day what we could ask those we know what they knew about the environment.
I never expected to hear a thank you from you, no rewards, no clapping for congratulations, no job well-done words, and no praise for it.sometimes the commitment, sacrifice and love of an animal can only be known by the animal, God and the caretaker only.catalyzed by the bond they share and the affection
All I can ask you is your blessing buddy, that blessing means everything to me, old as you were I celebrate your life well lived.
On the other side of life.greet Lola, Saut, Nasima, Nabire and the rest of the rhinos, tell them that some humans still upholds the madness that rhino horn is a cure.but there are others that still are fighting for your future.
The big question is what does Sudan’s existence and His death mean to you? Let us all purpose to learn.
I will try my best to honor all that we talked about and live for what you have taught me
It certainly is sad to species get extinct but we hope the IVF technology is successful and the efforts of many people in saving the species from extinction if fruitful.
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What do you think? Who should be blamed?