Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros Dies

Sudan was the last male northern white rhinoceros when he died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 45 years of age, which substantially increased the chance that this subspecies of rhinoceros will likely become extinct.

Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros Dies

“Sudan was being treated for age-related health issues, and for a series of infections”, according to this article from WildAid, which is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade. “His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal. The veterinarian team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.”

Najin is the daughter of Sudan; and Fatu is the daughter of Nanjin. Together, they are the only two known living northern white rhinoceros left in the world — but hope for preventing this subspecies from becoming extinct includes developing in vitro fertilization techniques using eggs from the two remaining females; using semen samples from now-deceased male northern white rhinoceros which are currently stored; and employing surrogate southern white rhinoceros females.

Poaching by predatory human beings is the main reason for the depletion of the herds of wild rhinoceros left in the world due to a significant increase in consumer demand for the horns of these animals in countries such as China and Vietnam because of their purported uses in health tonics and carvings. “Since 2013, South Africa has lost more than 1,000 rhinos each year to poachers”, according to the aforementioned article. “With the risk of extinction for the northern white rhino, there are fewer than 30,000 wild rhinos remaining among 5 species, including about 20,000 southern white rhinos mostly in South Africa, about 5,000 black rhinos in southern and eastern Africa, roughly 3,500 Indian one-horned rhinos in Nepal and India, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos, and an estimated 60 Javan rhinos.”

Ami Vitale — who is a photographer for National Geographic — returned to Kenya to say goodbye to Sudan and documented the experience in this touching article, which includes photographs.


“When animal species become extinct naturally is sad enough; but when that extinction is at the hands of mankind, it is shameful.” This was my response to this comment which was posted by Deltahater — who is a reader of The Gate — in this article with photographs pertaining to my encounter with an elusive black rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.

Not being concerned about the plight of critically endangered classifications of animals can be very easy for those people who simply go about their daily lives in distant cities elsewhere in the world; but after having participated on a safari in Kenya, one cannot help but become more aware of the callous indifference of poachers who seek profit and enrichment as a priority above the possible effects over the long term of further upsetting the balance of nature by causing a species or subspecies of animal to become extinct.

I personally hope that the northern white rhinoceros is somehow miraculously brought back from the brink of extinction.

If you would like to see some of the animals which I photographed during a safari in which I participated in Kenya back in 2015 — I still have additional articles to post, including one featuring hippopotami — please refer to these photographic essays…

…as well as of the people of the Maasai society.

The photograph of the white rhinoceros shown at the top of this article is not a northern white rhinoceros. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros Dies”

  1. Donald says:

    I’m surprised it wasn’t shot by Trump?

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