The world’s last male northern white rhino died of age-related complications, a Kenyan conservancy said on Tuesday. Only two females of its subspecies are now alive in the world, Reuters reported.
The researchers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy said they had euthanised 45-year-old Sudan, who was being treated after his muscles and bones were affected and he had suffered extensive skin wounds, AP reported.
“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 as a result of unsustainable human activity,” said Richard Vigne, the conservancy’s chief executive officer.
The rhino was born in Sudan and previously lived at the Dver Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic before he was transferred to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in 2009. The rhino had contributed to the survival of his species “as he sired two females”, the conservancy said.
“Additionally, his genetic material was collected yesterday and provides a hope for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies,” the statement added.
Attempts to get Sudan to mate with the two female rhinoceros failed, as one of them was too weak to support a mate, and the other, a 17-year-old rhino, was unlikely to conceive from a mate three times her age. Following this, researchers even put Sudan on dating app Tinder in 2017, to raise money to pay for fertility treatment worth $9 million. He was listed as “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” on the app.