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Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, has died, putting his species on the brink of extinction

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Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, has died, putting his species on the brink of extinction

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:27 pm

Story :

NAIROBI — Unable to stand, and suffering from a string of infections in his advanced age, the world’s last male northern white rhino was euthanized Monday by a veterinary team in Kenya that had fought for years to save him and his dwindling species. Only two now remain — his daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, Fatu — leaving in-vitro fertilization from preserved sperm as the last tool against extinction.

Sudan, who was 45 when he died, had unsuccessfully tried to mate with females from a related subspecies of rhino found in southern Africa. The second-to-last male, Suni, died in 2014, possibly from a heart attack. Both Sudan and Suni were likely too old to be fertile by the time they were brought to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009.

Sudan’s death comes as other rhino populations around the world teeter on the brink of extinction, largely because of poaching. Rhino horn has been highly prized in Chinese traditional medicine and as a decorative component of daggers carried by many Yemeni men. Around 30,000 rhinos from five species remain worldwide. Two species in Indonesia, the Sumatran and Javan rhinos, have around 100 individuals.

A recent drop in the price of rhino horn did not come soon enough to save the northern white rhino from near-certain extinction. A 2016 study published in Swara magazine found that wholesale rhino horn prices had decreased in both China and Vietnam $65,000 per kilogram in 2012-13 to $30,000 to $35,000 per kilogram in 2015. Al Jazeera found that the price in China declined even further during 2016 to less than $29,000 per kilogram. Still, South Africa, home to the biggest population of rhinos in the world, has lost about 1,000 per year to poaching since 2013, according to WildAid.


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