Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Last Male Northern White Rhino Passes, Leaving Only Two Left On Earth

March 20, 2018 - 2:05 pm
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By Rebecca Zamer/Joe Cingrana

The world's last known male northern white rhino, named Sudan, sadly passed away at 45-years-old at his home at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th.

According to a statement provided by the conservancy, "Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds... He was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him."

Sudan's death leaves just two females of the species left on the planet – his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu who remain at their home at Ol Pejeta.

Back in the 1970's, Sudan was able to escape extinction in the wild after being moved to the zoo and had since contributed to the survival of his species by mating with two females. Upon Sudan's passing, his genetic material was collected giving hope that northern white rhinos can be reproduced using in vitro fertilization along with the existing females.

"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.