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Remembering Sudan

The last male of its kind

 

Three years ago, we lost the last male northern white rhinoceros. His name was Sudan, a gentle and friendly rhino that weighed over 2 tonnes. He was an ancient creature whose species descended from a line that has survived and flourished on this planet for at least 50 million years.  Only a century ago, half a million rhinos roamed across Africa and Asia, but today many have died out and rhinoceroses are some of the most endangered species in the world.

Sudan at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Raised at At Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic from 1975 to 2009, Sudan was kept safe from poachers, but on the downside, there’s almost no chance of reproduction. Sudan had to move back to his very own habitat. it was a last-ditch, hopeful attempt of people who are desperate to save the species. In Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sudan had lived and roamed free in his native grassland in Kenya, under the watch of armed guards. He was loved and cared for by his keepers and tourists from all over the world came to visit him. But only in the blink of an eye, at the age of 45, Sudan left the world.

The trajectory of poaching fated Sudan to be the last male of its kind, passing away on a rainy day on 19th March 2018, leaving behind the last two females of their kind – his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu. If the death of Sudan has highlighted anything, it is that our species has and continued to cause endless destruction on this planet.  And while there are a small number of people working to preserve the magnificence of diversity in this world, they are working against all odds, and as with the passing of Sudan, they are fighting a battle that is almost impossible to win.

Ol Pejeta Rhino Cemetery & Memorial

Until today, conservationists are still hanging on to the last glimmer of hope to ensure that our children will be able to see a living northern white rhino, albeit in unnatural ways. They are currently attempting to use in vitro fertilization and implant the baby into another subspecies to raise as her own. Unfortunately, this has become our last chance for humanity to redeem ourselves, to try and turn back time, to correct our mistakes in hope that we can still save the species that we have driven into extinction.