The Last Male Northern White Rhino has died

The Last Male Northern White Rhino has died

Death of 45 years old Rhino could prove to be the last nail in the coffin for the Extinction of the Northern White Rhinos.

Extinction of species has earned the status of a ‘Crisis’ following the trend of mass extinctions around the world. Conservationists seemed more worried than sad as they announced the death of the last male White Rhino in Sudan. It was a long time coming as his physical conditions were going from bad to worse. He was in the later stages of his life and multiple infections were restricting him more and more. He was unable to stand and the veterinary team of Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nairobi gave their best to prolong his life as much as they can so that the species could be saved. He was euthanized in the presence of armed guards on the past Monday by the same veterinary team.

His daughter, Najin, and grand-daughter, Fatu are the only two members remaining of this community on the face of the Earth. The conservationists have preserved the sperm of Sudan in order to make a final try in saving this ancient creature. In-vitro fertilization will be attempted on these two female white rhinos. Efforts were made to make Sudan mate with a female of another related species, Suni, but to no avail. Later, it was revealed that both Sudan and Suni were too old to be fertile at the time they were brought to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Richard Vigne, chief executive of the Conservancy, showed the dismay in the following words.

We at Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death. He was an amazing rhino, 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 the unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”

The death of Sudan has had an alarming effect. It has shown us that the unsustainable human activity is driving us to a world where a lot of creatures are in danger of being wiped out. A lot of other species of rhinoceros are on the brink of extinction. Illegal hunting for obtaining valuable horns of rhinos is a major factor that contributes to the extinction of these gentle animals. These horns are sold in Yemen as they are used for decoration. Similarly, they are highly prized in the industry of traditional Chinese medicines. The species of rhinoceros that require immediate attention are the Sumatran and the Javans. Both of them are found in Indonesia and their collective strength is around 100 individuals.

This incident has received quite a lot of reaction around the world and the debate of mass extinction due to human actions have erupted on different forums. The Instagram post of National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale clearly shows the sadness and the anger that is being felt by the animal-loving community. She said,

Today, we are witnessing the extinction of a species that had survived for millions of years but could not survive mankind.”

She had a prior attachment to Sudan as she was present with him at the time of his transportation to Kenya Reserve from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009. This relocation was done considering the fact that the African climate, which is more suitable for rhinos, and freer space to stroll around will stimulate the breeding process in them. However, it didn’t happen as Sudan was past the reproductive age.

There were more than half a million rhinos in Asia and Africa in the early 1900s. This figure faced a drastic crash as the markets for rhino horns flourished. Deforestation also played an instrumental role in this as it resulted in the loss of habitat for this amazing creature. Hence, there were only 70,000 rhinos left in the world in 1970. Another species of rhinos called Western Black rhino became extinct 7 years ago due to excessive poaching. We are left with only 5 species of rhinos around the globe and sadly all of them are categorized as endangered by the group ‘Save the Rhino’. Sudan’s death gives us an opportunity to analyze our actions and mold our lifestyles in a way that is beneficial for us as well as the environment.

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