Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, dies at 45

Armed rangers keep an armed watch around Sudan, world's last male northern white rhino, to deter poachers after his horn. Photo/File
Armed rangers keep an armed watch around Sudan, world's last male northern white rhino, to deter poachers after his horn. Photo/File

Sudan, the world's last standing male northern white rhino, is dead at the age of 45 years.

"It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19, 2018," the conservancy said.

Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds.

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The conservancy said Sudan's condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours as he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal.

"The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanise him," Ol Pejeta said.

The conservancy said Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life.

"In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo."

"Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to the survival of his species as he sired two females," the conservator said.

Additionally, his genetic material was collected on Monday and provides a hope for future attempts at a reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies.

The conservancy said Sudan during his final years came back to Africa and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.

"We on Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death. He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction."

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