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April 23, 2018

We failed you, KOT apologise to Sudan after death at Ol Pejeta

The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017. REUTERS
The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017. REUTERS

Conservation enthusiasts on Tuesday morning woke up the sad news of the death of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino.

Sudan was a no ordinary rhino as he was was some kind of a 'celeb'  who stole the hearts of many who came to Kenya to see him and even posed for photos with him.

He was the last male northern white rhino and last hope for the breed in the world.

Sudan was born in Northern Sudan in November 19, 1973 and died on Tuesday, March 20 in Kenya after a long battle with age-related complications.

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

The 45-year-old rhino is reported to have been euthanised on Monday after his condition "worsened significantly". He was no longer able to stand.

"His muscles and bones had degenerated and his skin had extensive wounds, with a deep infection on his back right leg, " read a statement from Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Sudan was just a baby when he was captured  by a team from the Chipperfield safari park firm in Shambe game reserve, South Sudan, in February 1975.

He was then guarded by a police officer 24 hours to protect him from poaching.

Sudan  was later moved to Ol Pejeta Conservancy for a "Last Chance To Survive" breeding program in December 2009 with three fertile surviving females.

This was in the hope that he would provide a more natural habitat for the animals to induce breeding.

In April 2017, Sudan joined Tinder in search of a hook-up mate as conservationists struggled to save his species.

At the time, he had been dubbed as "the most eligible bachelor in the world" by the zoo team that was caring for him.

Tinder made him a profile which was  available all over the world and was broadcast in 190 countries and in 40 languages.

UK and Europe made their donations which were processed by Virgin Money, in the US by CrowdRise and in Kenya by popular mobile service MPesa.

Sudan fathered three babies with a female named Nasima, but after she died. He then refused to mate with the other females, charging and injuring them with his huge horn.

The only hope for preserving the subspecies now lies in developing in-vitro fertilisation techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.

KOT 'mourned' him in a series of tweets.

KCB said:  "It’s a dangerous thing, they say, to love what death can touch – and this morning we have known why. Sudan had become such an endeared hero to us all. We will keep the hope burning for Najin and Fatu. Gone but never to be forgotten." 

@AKenyanGirl said:  "It was a joy meeting you, old man .. thank you for doing your best to save your species. We humans failed you. To the team at @OlPejeta, Thank you for doing your best. My love goes out to his carers."

@paulakahumbu  said: "BREAKING and HEARTBROKEN Sudan, the last northern white rhino has died in Kenya. A majestic species brought to its knees by our greed & ignorance, but mostly by inaction."

@wwf_uk said: "Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, has died. Our hearts are broken. We’re seeing the extinction of the northern white rhino happen before our eyes - urgent action to tackle the illegal wildlife trade is needed now more than ever."

@KP24 said: "We failed Sudan and all the other northern white rhinos! No males males left! Animal lovers, it’s time to go to work to save ALL other rhinos!"

@Lionheart0075 said:  "The world’s last male northern white rhino, Sudan, has died. All because of us another beautiful species GONE."

"It’s time that we realise the consequences of our actions. It’s too late for Sudan and his kind, but let this be a turning point. #Extinction is happening!"

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