News21 Jul 2021

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Sudan, The Last white Rhino

Sudan, who was born in the wild in 1973, has since become a legend, thanks in part to his status as the last male member of a rhino subspecies. Sudan was born in 1973 in Sudan. He lived in the wilderness until he was three years old. He was captured, along with five other northern white rhinos, and taken to the Dvr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic.

Sudan lived at Dvr Králové Zoo until December 2009, when he and three other northern white rhinos – Suni (deceased), Najin, and Fatu – were relocated to Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Northern white rhinos were declared extinct in the wild in 2009. This prompted the move. It was hoped that a more natural habitat would overcome the rhinos' reluctance to breed in captivity, ensuring the subspecies' survival.

The deaths of Suni and Angalifu in 2014, two of the three remaining males, brought the impending extinction of this magnificent species to everyone's attention. Sudan was now in an unusual position, as the last of his species.

All hope for the future of this rested on him, but sadly, after a series of tests, it became clear in 2015 that his days of youthful vigour were over. Sudan is known to have fathered only two calves. In any case, the females didn't seem to care for him in his old age, to the point where they had to be kept in separate paddocks. It became clear that the chances of further procreation were dwindling with each passing year. After all, he would be 90 years old today in human years.


Sudan made headlines in April 2017 as the most ‘eligible bachelor in the world,' when Tinder, Ole Pejeta Conservancy, and Ogling Africa featured him on the dating app as part of a massive fundraising campaign. They were able to raise $80,000, which greatly aided in the effort to support rhino IVF and rehabilitation.


The Passing of Sudan

Sudan died on March 19, 2018. He had been afflicted with age-related health issues as well as a series of infections. His veterinary team decided to euthanize him after his condition deteriorated significantly and he was able to stand up and clearly suffered greatly.

He is survived by his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu, who is now the last of two known Northern white rhino species.

Did you know?

The white rhinoceros is actually grey in color. Their horn is made of keratin, the same material that our nails and hair are made of. They are the most territorial of all whino species. An adult male rhino can weigh up to 5000 pounds.

Human greed is the only threat to white rhinos. In 2009, the price of rhino horn per kilogram was around $3000. It is now worth up to $60,000 in some areas. In 2014, it was discovered that over 1000 rhinos were killed in Africa for their horns, which were then illegally exported to the Far East.