World's last male northern white rhino, Sudan, dies

Tuesday, 20 Mar, 2018

The world's last male northern white rhino has died in a Kenyan conservancy on Monday March 19, 2018, the conservancy confirmed early Tuesday morning on social media.

Sudan, who lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, was put to sleep on Monday after age-related complications worsened.

Sudan was listed as "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World" by Tinder previous year in partnership with the conservancy, in a campaign to heighten awareness and raise $9 million to save the species.

Named Sudan, the 45-year-old animal was housed at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in - a 90,000-acre not-for-profit wildlife facility in Kenya's Laikipia County.

"In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo".

Ol Pejeta, the Kenya Wildlife Service and veterinarians at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic made a decision to euthanize him. There are only two more white rhinos left in the world, the remaining females also live at the same facility.

One of the huge hurdles facing scientists is that the two remaining female northern white rhinos can not gestate the next generation - one is sterile and the other is not physically capable of carrying a calf full term.

The rhino "significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females", the conservancy said.

More: World's last male northern white rhino is gravely ill.

"They [northern white rhinos] used to be prolific across Northern Africa and have been reduced by poaching due to the demand of its horn", he said.

However scientists have gathered his genetic material and are working on developing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques to preserve the subspecies.

Further efforts to mate a male southern white rhino with the females - and thus conserve some of the northern white genes - were also unsuccessful. "His death is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him", said Jan Stejskal, Director of International Projects at the Dvur Kralove Zoo.