World's last male northern white rhino dies aged 45

Sudan during his time at Ol Pejeta conservancy

Sudan during his time at Ol Pejeta conservancy

Forty three-year-old Sudan, the last surviving male northern white rhino on the planet, is fed by a caretaker at Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nanyuki, some 200 kilometers north of Nairobi, Kenya, May 3, 2017.

Ol Pajeta Conservancy on Tuesday, March 20 said they chose to euthanise him after the condition deteriorated extensively.

Australian actress Bindi Irwin wrote: "Today was heartbreaking for us all as the world says goodbye to Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on Earth". "The veterinary team from the Dver Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanise him".

World's last male northern white rhino dies aged 45
World's last male northern white rhino dies aged 45

Further efforts to mate a male southern white rhino with the females - and thus conserve some of the northern white genes - were also unsuccessful.

Sudan's death "is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him".

Sudan was listed as "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World" by Tinder past year in partnership with the conservancy, in a campaign to heighten awareness and raise $9 million to save the species.

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Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, told CNN, "He was a gentle giant, his personality was just awesome and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him".

Researchers were able to save some of Sudan's genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, it was said.

In the 1970s, Sudan "escaped extinction in the wild", when he was shipped to the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. Some groups such as the London-based Save the Rhino have said in vitro fertilization is probably too late to save the northern white rhino, whose natural habitat has faced severe limitations, and that efforts should focus on other critically endangered species with a better chance at survival.

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While there are thousand of southern white rhinos still roaming the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching have drastically cut numbers of northern whites. China and Vietnam are among the nations that have fuelled demand for the horn, due to the false belief that they can cure diseases including cancer and even ease a hangover.

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