From being the most eligible bachelor to being the last male northern Rhino, Sudan, passed away due to age-related complications, as announced by researchers on Tuesday.
As mentioned in a statement from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya said the 45-year old rhino was euthanized on Monday after his condition “worsened significantly” and 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.
Sudan was someone more than a celebrity, who always attracted thousands of visitors. Last year he was listed as “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” on the Tinder dating app in a fundraising effort. The last male northern white rhino had been born in Sudan, the last of his kind to be born in the wild.
He was taken to a Czech zoo and then transferred to Kenya in 2009 with the three other remaining fertile northern white rhinos at the time. They were placed under 24-hour armed guard and fed a special diet. “However, despite the fact that they were seen mating, there were no successful pregnancies,” the conservancy said.
Sudan’s death “is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him. But we should not give up,” said Jan Stejskal, director of international projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. “It may sound unbelievable, but thanks to the newly developed techniques even Sudan could still have an offspring.”
Northern white rhinos once roamed parts of Chad, Sudan, Uganda, Congo and Central African Republic, and were particularly vulnerable because of the armed conflicts that have swept the region over decades. Other rhinos, the southern white rhino and another species, the black rhino, are under heavy pressure from poachers who kill them for their horns to supply illegal markets in parts of Asia.
Roughly 20,000 southern white rhinos remain in Africa. Their numbers are less than 100 around a century ago, but an intense effort initiated by South African conservationist Ian Player in the mid-20th century turned things around.