Dating app Tinder probably registered its most unlikely bachelor yet – a 43-year-old six-foot tall northern white rhino named Sudan (pictured above). Conservationists at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta conservancy created a profile for Sudan in a bid to generate funds for a $9-million (approximately Rs 57 crore) fertility treatment after attempts to get him to mate naturally have failed to impregnate his female counterparts.
Sudan’s Tinder profile describes him as a lover of the outdoors who “travels widely”. “I do not mean to be too forward, but the fate of my species literally depends on me. I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. No problems. 6 ft tall and 5,000 pounds if it matters,” his profile reads. A swipe right on the rhino’s profile takes users to the Ol Pejeta donation page: www.olpejetaconservancy.org/. The website temporarily crashed with the unexpected spurt in hits.
Scientists plan on using the northern white rhino’s sperm to fertilise an egg from one of the two suriving northern white rhino females: 17-year-old Satu or 27-year-old Najin. The embryo will be implanted in a surrogate southern white rhino, a relatively more common species. “We tried everything to get them to mate naturally,” said Elodie Sampere, the marketing manager at the facility where the three endangered animals are under round-the-clock security, Reuters reported.
“We removed them from a zoo environment, which was not conducive to natural instincts, and put them in a semi-wild environment. There were a couple of matings, but it never resulted in a pregnancy,” Sampere told Reuters.
His caretakers fear the 43-year-old’s imminent death will lead to the end of his species. Poachers sell northern white rhinos horns for an estimated $50,000 (aprroximately Rs 32 lakh) per kilo. “As long as the demand for rhino horn in the Far East persists, there will always be an ever-present threat,” said rhino expert Richard Vigne, chief executive officer of Ol Pejeta.