The last male northern white rhino is gravely ill and is facing the prospect of being put down – which will mean extinction for his species.
Sudan, a northern white rhinoceros, is protected by armed guards John Mugo and Daniel Maina at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya.
His species numbered more than 2,000 as recently as 1960 but poaching drove them to the brink of extinction – and by 1984, there were just 15 left.
Sudan lives with the only other two members of his species, both female and who both suffer from conditions sadly making them incapable of pregnancy.
National Geographic said it would ‘require nothing short of a miracle to be saved from extinction’.
Watch Sudan’s plight when he joined Tinder:
When Angalifu, the only other male, died in 2014, Sudan became the last living male.
To raise awareness, Ol Pejeta partnered with the dating app Tinder last year to create a profile for Sudan.
His bio read:
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 me.
I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. No problems. 6 ft tall and 5,000 pounds if it matters.
Elodie Sampere, the marketing manager at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta conservancy, said:
We tried everything to get them to mate naturally. When he first tried to mount the girls, the rangers guided him… But it is difficult with a rhino.
We removed them from a zoo environment, which was not conducive to natural instincts, and put them in a semi-wild environment.
There were a couple of matings, but it never resulted in a pregnancy.
— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) April 25, 2017
Scientists were hoping to use Sudan’s unique sperm to fertilise a northern white rhino egg and implant the embryo into a surrogate southern white rhino; a much more common species.
Ol Pejeta’s emotional plea reads:
Humans were responsible for the steep decline in the numbers of the northern whites; this is our chance at redemption.
Conservationists note the northern white rhino horn is still sold on the black market by poachers for $50,000 per kilo. They’re more valuable to evil collectors than gold or cocaine.
Fashion brand Lacoste recently launched a range of polo shirts in a bid to raise awareness of animals facing extinction.
The brand is producing the number of polo shirts in correspondence to how many of each species is left in the wild.
The collection is in support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Save Our Species (IUCN) program.
It’s sad to think there are species in the world with less than even thousands remaining.
Appreciate and enjoy nature and wildlife, it should be looked after:
IUCN is coordinating frontline projects worldwide in order to help ensure the long-term survival of threatened species. Learn more on Save Our Species.