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Last male northern white rhino dies in Kenya: Keepers

As reported by Economic Times, handlers of the last male northern white rhino, Sudan, have confirmed its passing away on Tuesday, The male northern white rhino was the last of the species that was born in the wild. He was aged 45 years, and died of old age and its related issues and complications, leading to degenerating muscles, bones and extensive skin wounds. He was a captive northern albino rhino, based in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia in Kenya, known for being one of the only three living northern white rhinoceroses in the world currently, and the last male of his subspecies. Hunted to extinction, only two females of the species remain. Their population was almost entirely wiped out in Uganda,  Sudan, Central African Republic and Chad due to poaching during the 1970s and 80s, fueled by demand for rhino horn used in traditional Chinese medicine in Asia and production of rhino-horn dagger handle in Yemen. The last remaining population of the species in the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed to be a 20-30 herd, was killed in the fighting, leading to the northern white rhinoceros in the white to be considered almost extinct by 2008. Four fertile rhinos remained in captivity in Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic and were transported to Ol Pejeta in Kenya in hopes that similar conditions to their natural habitat would encourage breeding but in vain. Despite mating, there were no successful pregnancies, and the numbers remained at four, till Suni, the other male rhinoceros died of old age and natural causes in October 2014.  With the passing away of Sudan, the hope for preserving the northern white rhino species lies in IVF technologies and the remaining two females.

 

— As reported by the Economic Times

 

Cover Pic Credit: Hindustan times

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