The Last Male Northern White Rhino Is Sick and Dying
Sudan, a 45-year-old rhino, is the last hope for his species.
The very last male northern white rhino on Earth is on the verge of death. And so are the hopes of reviving a subspecies on the brink of extinction, scientists say.
Sudan, a 45-year-old white rhino living in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, is critically ill. The only other two living white rhinos are females and Sudan has not been able to conceive with either of them.
If he dies, the species will go extinct.
"We don't think he will last for much longer," an Ol Pejeta spokeswoman told CNN. “Euthanasia will be explored if we feel he is suffering too much and won't recover.”
In 2017, Sudan gained international attention when the dating app Tinder named him the “Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” as part of a campaign to raise money and awareness to protect rhinos throughout Africa and Asia.
But poachers continue to kill rhinos and saw off their horns at an alarming rate. The horns are considered luxury items and good luck charms in Vietnam, China, and other countries. riven by huge profits, poachers kill and traders sell around 1,000 rhinos a year in South Africa, which is home to 80% of the world’s rhino population.
“Unlike the illegal ivory trade, where to make real money you have to smuggle or sell hundreds of kilos of ivory, in the case of the rhino [you] need much less to make good money,” Elephant Action League director Andrea Crosta told National Geographic. “So overall the volume of the rhino horn illegal trade in terms of pure quantity is much smaller than for ivory, yet the profits for traders are much higher.”
Throughout the world, human behavior is leading to the endangerment and extinction of countless animal species. In the Arctic, polar bears are starving to death as global warming fueled by climate change melts the sheets of ice they use for hunting. Elsewhere, the global bee population is in a “spiral of death” due to pesticides and other chemicals.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, including Number 15, protecting Life on Land. You can take action here.
As Sudan approaches death, humans are again faced with the catastrophic impact of our behavior on our fellow species.
"Let's hope it will be another wake-up call for the world to understand that we have to do much more to combat the threat to rhinos," World Wildlife Fund director Bas Huijbregts told the Los Angeles Times. "The key message here is that when the demand [for rhino horn] stops, the killing stops."