Huge blow for conservationists as the world’s last male northern white rhino dies

Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced the sad demise on their Facebook Page.

Sudan aged 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 after battling with poor health for months.

“It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday).”

Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds.

His condition however worsened significantly in the last 24 hours making him even unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal.

The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service then made the painful decision to euthanize him.

“We on Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death. He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists world wide,” said Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s CEO.

Kenya’s elephant man and wildlife Conservationist,Jim Justus Nyamu who spoke to Business Insider SSA said it is a sad day for the world.

“It is a very sad day for the World and the death of Sudan reminds us all that extinction is just by the corner because that is a whole species that we have lost and if you look at the whole idea of Sudan which was not even meant to stay in Kenya but in captivity in Czech Republic it shows us that we need to be prepared in advance because Scientists had warned about this some years back but they were given very little attention,  what has happened now has gotten the attention of the whole world but it is too late”

Jim who is actively involved in saving the African Elephant from extinction added the death of Sudan should be a wakeup call to the world that

“For us to win this war of extinction we need to listen to Scientists and we need to avoid politics, extinction is real and conservation i9s not a political game because we have lost Sudan merely because of lack of political good will and lack of support for conservation and you can see this by looking at the construction of the Standard Gauge Railways inside our parks, taking elephants from Mt. Kenya Region to Tsavo all these and many more do not argue well with wildlife“

Ol Pejeta Conservancy last year opened a Tinder account for Sudan dubbed the Most Eligible Bachelor in the world to try and raise the $9 million needed for ongoing research into Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) that could potentially achieve successful pregnancies and gradually build up a viable herd of northern white rhinos, protecting the northern white rhino from going into extinction in the process.

Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life and handsome looks, during his final years, he came back to the ‘cradle of Mankind’ and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.

In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females.

The only hope in saving the white rhino species now lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, and mixing them with stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.

Sudan’s semen was collected before he was euthanized and will be used for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies.

Sudan’s death leaves just two female northern white rhinos on the planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remain at Ol Pejeta.

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