Will Sudan's death lead to the extinction of the northern white rhino species?
The world's last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan has passed. The news was taken with dismay all across the world since the rhino's death could lead to the extinction of the species itself.
Sudan was 45 years old and was living in Kenya at a wildlife conservancy called Ol Pejeta. His condition according to the conservationists who looked after him was that he was no longer able to stand since his age-related health problems had worsened.
By Monday, his muscles and bones had weakened and his skin had severe wounds along with an infection in his leg.
"Today, we are witnessing the extinction of a species that had survived for millions of years but could not survive mankind," Ami Vitale, a National Geographic photographer who used to document Sudan and the species decline wrote on Instagram.
Sudan was born in the wild in Sudan. At the age of two, he was taken to a zoo in the Czech Republic where he lived there from 1975 until 2009. He was then moved to the Ol Pejeta wildlife conservancy in Kenya.
Now, just two females of the species are left. One is his daughter, Najin and the other is his granddaughter, Fatu.
The conservationists had tried many times to get Sudan to mate with the existing two females naturally but were not successful. And therefore, in order to raise funds for a nine- million dollar fertility treatment to help the species survive, a Tinder account for Sudan was created. In the account, he was described as the most eligible bachelor in the world.
Will Sudan's death lead to the extinction of the species?
Scientists say there is hope.
Scientists now, hope to use in-vitro fertilization to combine the genetic material of a female and male northern white rhino. Sex cells were harvested from the living northern white rhinos, and scientists are hoping to impregnate southern white rhino surrogates.
Fifty years ago, about 2,000 Northern white rhinos remained in the wild but became especially threatened because of armed conflicts in the area. Many were also poached for their horns and skin.
Along with health problems, it is said that Sudan may have also suffered from loneliness in his final days since the only other male of his species, Suni, had died in 2014.
Sudan spent his final years surrounded by armed guards who protected him from poachers.
Photo by @amivitale. If there is meaning in Sudan’s passing, it’s that all hope is not lost. This can be our wake-up call. In a world of more than 7 billion people, we must see ourselves as part of the landscape. Our fate is linked to the fate of animals Joseph Wachira, (@wachira.joseph) 26 comforts Sudan, the last living male Northern White Rhino left on this planet moments before he passed away March 19, 2018 in northern Kenya. Sudan lived a long, healthy life at the conservancy after he was brought to Kenya from @safari_park_dvur_kralove in the #Czechrepublic in 2009. He died surrounded by people who loved him at @olpejeta after suffering from age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. Sudan has been an inspirational figure for many across the world. Thousands have trooped to Ol Pejeta to see him and he has helped raise awareness for rhino conservation. The two female northern white rhinos left on the planet are his direct descendants. Research into new Assisted Reproductive Techniques for large mammals is underway due to him. The impact that this special animal has had on conservation is simply incredible. And there is still hope in the future that the subspecies might be restored through IVF. @olpejeta @nrt_kenya @lewa_wildlife @tusk_org @kenyawildlifeservice @thephotosociety @natgeo #LastManStanding #SudanForever #WorthMoreAlive #OlPejetaRhinos#NorthernWhiteRhinos #protectrhinos#DontLetThemDisappear #rhions#saverhinos #stoppoaching #kenya#northernkenya #africa #everydayafrica #photojournalism #amivitale @nikonusa #nikonusa #nikonlove http://time.com/5209390/sudan-rhino-rhinoceros-northern-white