World's Last Ever Male White Rhino Dies at 45
veterinary team made the difficult decision to euthanize Sudan
The world's last ever male northern white rhino has died leaving the only two females left to save the species from complete extinction.
The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had deteriorated into poor health and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections.
The veterinary team made the difficult decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition plummeted according to an announcement from e conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.
Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading to his death.
CNN reports: "He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him," said Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta.
Researchers were able to save some of Sudan's genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, Sampere said.
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). #SudanForever #TheLoneBachelorGone #Only2Left
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). #SudanForever #TheLoneBachelorGone #Only2Left pic.twitter.com/1ncvmjZTy1— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
"We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn. While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species," said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.
Rhinos are targeted by poachers, fueled by the belief in Asia that their horns cure various ailments. Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs.
In addition to round-the-clock security, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also put radio transmitters on the animals and dispatched incognito rangers into neighboring communities to gather intelligence on poaching.
During his final years, he was not able to naturally mount a female and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficultly.
His daughter Najin, 28 and granddaughter, Fatu, considered young by comparison. Najin could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak she may be unable to support a mounted male.
Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the "most eligible bachelor in the world" in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.
The western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago as a result of poaching. All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Sudan was a northern white rhino.