On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Sudan, which was the last northern white rhino in the world, died at the age of 45 in Kenya. At present, only two northern white rhinos persist – rhino Sudan’s daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, fatu.
This magnificent species has been entirely wiped out by poaching. Experts are anticipating that they may soon extinct, just like the northern black rhino.
Sudan lived at a private reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Kenya. Several guardians work in the reserve to protect the wildlife, especially rhinos, from the poachers.
The carers of the world’s last surviving white rhino informed that he died after months of poor health. After the age-related complications worsened on Monday, the rhino was put to sleep.
Sudan was being treated for degenerative changes in his muscles and bones, combined with extensive skin wounds. In his last 24 hours, he was unable to stand and was suffering from a great deal. Due to the severe condition, veterinarians at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy had to put him down.
Jan Stejskal, an official at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, where Sudan had lived until 2009, said, “His death is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him.”
At present, the hope of preserving the northern white rhino totally lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques. This technique is radically new and could cost as much as $10m (£7.1m).
The conservationists said that in order to support future attempts to preserve the subspecies, the genetic material of Sudan was collected on Monday. They are planning to use the stored sperm from several northern white rhino males, and eggs from the remaining younger females, and implant the embryo in a surrogate southern white rhino.
“But we should not give up,” Stejskal added.
He said, “We must take advantage of the unique situation in which cellular technologies are utilised for conservation of critically endangered species. It may sound unbelievable, but thanks to the newly developed techniques even Sudan could still have an offspring.”
The official Twitter page of Ol Pejeta wrote, “Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life. In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females.”
Researchers say that the last male northern white rhino didn’t fell because if its own fault. He died because of the human folly.
Hildebrandt said, “This is a creature that didn’t fail in evolution. It’s in this situation because of us.”
The death of Sudan was definitely not the last time that humanity will face the extinction of another majestic species.