Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhino, Has Died

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | March 20, 2018 06:43am ET

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, is protected by armed guards John Mugo and Daniel Maina at Ol Pejeta Conservancy on June 25, 2015 in Laikipia County, Kenya.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where the rhino spent his last years, announced the death of the 45-year-old rhinoceros, saying that his health worsened to a point that he was suffering and unable to walk. Officials there made the decision to euthanize the rhino.

"He had been suffering from age-related health issues and from a series of infection[s]," Conservancy staff said in a statement. "Once his condition worsened significantly and he was unable to stand up and evidently, suffered a great deal, the decision to euthanise him was made by his veterinary team."

Sudan was the last wild-caught northern white rhinoceros in captivity. The rhinoceros's death leaves only two of the northern white rhino subspecies (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) alive on the planet: Najin, Sudan's daughter born in 1989, and Fatu, Najin's daughter born in 2000. [See Photos of the Last Standing Northern White Rhinos]

"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," Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta's CEO, said in a statement on Facebook.

Last male standing
Sudan was born around 1973 or 1974 in South Sudan. At just a year or two of age, he was captured from the wild along with several other of his subspecies and taken to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in what was then Czechoslovakia and is today the Czech Republic.

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