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The World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Has Died

The 45-year-old rhino had to be put down due to his deteriorating condition that could no longer be saved.


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The World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Has Died
Image: Reuters
The rhino species is not having it good.

The world's last surviving male northern white rhino has died in Kenya, leaving behind only two females of the subspecies.

After suffering from months of poor health and severe pain, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and wildlife officials made the difficult decision to put down the 45-year-old rhino on Monday.
 
According to Reuters, Sudan the rhino was being treated for age-related complications that had affected his muscles, bones and skin.

However, there was sadly no treatment that could help alleviate the pain off of the mammal, that was 90 in human years.

Due to the pain and discomfort from a deep wound on his right hind leg, Sudan was lying in his pen for two weeks in late February and early March.

"Sunday morning, he completely was unable to wake up. His left hind foot gave in completely, he was unable to support himself on it and he was not able to raise," Veterinarian Dr Stephen Ngulu told Reuters.

Sudan was still able to stand and feed back at the Laikipia national park in May last year.
Currently, scientists are working hard to preserve the subspecies from extinction using vitro fertilisation methods using eggs from the two surviving females, stored northern white rhino semen and surrogate southern white rhino females.

Last year, Sudan made headlines when conservationists put him on dating app Tinder as the 'Most Eligible Bachelor in the World', not to find love, but as a campaign to raise funds for the development of IVF for rhinos.

Najin and Patu, the last two female northern white rhinos in the world.
Rhinoceroses, which is the second-largest land mammal after elephants, consists of five species. 

The white rhinoceros has two subspecies, the southern white rhino and the critically endangered northern white rhino.

While there are still thousands of southern white rhinos in sub-Saharan Africa, the northern white rhinos population was largely wiped out from decades of rampant poaching.

Poachers sold northern white rhino horns for USD50,000 per kilo, to be used in traditional Chinese medicine and as weapons in Yemen.

"It’s very sad to lose Sudan because it shows clearly the extent of human greed and what sort of impact humans beings can have on nature," Ol Pejeta head Samuel Mutisya told Reuters.

"If we don’t take care of what we have, we will definitely continue to lose it, particularly lose other species that are currently endangered."

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