Another species of rhinos are on the verge of extinction after the last male northern white rhino died at the age of 45 years according to rhino standards. Named ‘Sudan’, the 45-year-old rhino was shipped to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya to preserve its extinction many years ago. There are still two female rhinos left in the conservancy. According to the reports, Sudan was being treated by the veterinary team for age-related complications after infection affected his bones and muscles which resulted in extensive skin wounds. He was later euthanized by the team after he suffered extensively in his last 24 hours.
Sudan was born in 1973 in Shambe, South Sudan when a total of 700 rhinos were alive. He was survived by two females that have raised questions whether how to prevent the extinction of these species[without a male]. The hope for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technique has been proposed to preserve the subspecies. Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta stated that Sudan has been a symbol to raise global awareness not just for rhinos but for all animal species that are facing extinction due to unsustainable human activities such as poaching.
It is because of rhinos’ massive size that they don’t have many predators, however, the rhino horn is one of the most demanded product which is used both in dagger handles in Yemen and Chinese medicine which shot up poaching incidents in the 1970s and 1980s which greatly adversely influenced northern white rhinos in Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, and Uganda. According to the reports, the last batch of wild populations of rhinos just 20 to 30 in number died in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to extensive fighting in the period between the late 1990s and early 2000s. By 2008, the population of northern white rhinos was extinct completely.
Modern-day rhinos have been brooding around the Earth since last 26 million years. The total population of rhinos in Africa were over a million during the mid-19th century, however, when the census was done in 2011, it was found out that the western black rhino has extinct entirely.
The story of Sudan who died recently is very awakening. He was saved in the 1970s when he was shipped to the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic to save it from extinction in the wild. The rhino managed to mate with a female counterpart after which, his daughters Najin (28) and Fatu (17) were born. The conservancy bought a male named Suni to Kenya and the two female rhinos to Ol Pejeta for breeding purposes and although Suni was seen mating with the female, the attempt went unsuccessful since no pregnancies were found. Later in October 2004, Suni died of natural causes.
With the death of Sudan, the only hope to preserve the almost extinct northern while rhinos is to perform an IVF procedure on the subspecies remaining. Scientists have acquired genetic material from Sudan which will be used by IVF procedure later when the scientist develop a successful IVF technique. As per the proposed plan, the sperms collected from northern white rhino males which are preserved in Berlin will be fused with the eggs of Fatu and Najin after which, the embryo will be put in a southern white female who will be the surrogate for the baby rhino. This is in hopes to preserve the genes of northern white rhinos. According to Samuel Mutisya, head of conservation at Ol Pejeta states that even if scientists are able to revive the subspecies, it would still take measures to prevent it from the dangerous natural habitat, however, there is a hope. a