The last ever male northern white rhino has died meaning his species will soon be extinct.
Sudan, a northern white rhinoceros, has been put down after his carers said the future did not look bright following him becoming gravely ill.
The 45-year-old was one of just three remaining northern white rhinos. He was the last male of his species.
He was euthanised by vets after falling ill and being unable to stand. It is being put down to age-related complications.
Back in 1960 there were more than 2,000 of his kind in the world but poaching drove the species to the brink of extinction meaning by 1984 there were just 15 left.
Protected by armed guards, John Mugo and Daniel Maina, at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya, Sudan lived with the last two surviving females, Najin and Fatu, but attempts to mate him with them failed.
Both females sadly suffer from conditions which make them incapable of pregnancy.
After the organisation discovered this, last year, they created an account for Sudan on the dating app Tinder, with aims to help fund the development of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for rhinos.
As reported by National Geographic, 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. Six foot tall and 5,000 pounds if it matters.
You can watch a video about him below:
The clever and cute move won Sudan thousands of fans across the world, who were devastated last week when they heard about his condition.
Tweeting updates on their page, the reserve confirmed Sudan – who’s 90-years-old in human years – had been suffering from infected bedsores as his mobility decreased.
His health has begun deteriorating and his future is not looking bright. At the end of 2017, Sudan developed an uncomfortable age related infection on his back right leg.
Recently, a secondary and much deeper infection was discovered beneath the initial one. This has been treated, but worryingly, the infection is taking longer to recover, despite the best efforts of his team of vets who are giving him 24 hour care.
Everything possible is being done to help him regain his health. We are very concerned about him – he’s extremely old for a rhino and we do not want him to suffer unnecessarily.
So many people have supported the northern white rhinos since they arrived on Ol Pejeta in 2009, and we feel it is important to inform you that Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on the planet, is starting to show signs of ailing. pic.twitter.com/BMNTprww57
— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 1, 2018
At the advanced age of 45, his health has begun deteriorating, and his future is not looking bright. At the end of the 2017, Sudan developed an uncomfortable age related infection on his back right leg.
— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 1, 2018
However conservationists hope this isn’t the end for the northern white rhino.
There’s still the possibility progression with IVF is made, meaning one day, scientists may be able to use Sudan’s unique sperm to impregnate a female rhino.
This can either be Najin or Fatu or even a surrogate southern white rhino – a much more common species.
The process of IVF involves implanting an embryo, which is the result of Sudan’s sperm and a fertilised northern white rhino egg.
With the last two surviving female Northern White Rhino. This is the team that provides their round-the-clock care. Let’s all appreciate the team & acknowledge their dedication to conservation. @OlPejeta #TembeaKenya #MagicalKenya #Rhino #WorthMoreAlive pic.twitter.com/3kwKy7OxQQ
— Prof. Judi Wakhungu EGH (@JudiWakhungu) March 3, 2018
It really is heartbreaking news but at least there’s still hope for the species.