Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, died at 45, which is elderly by rhino standards, on Monday, 3/19/2018 at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. His health deteriorated so much that he could no longer stand, prompting a decision by his veterinary team to euthanize him.
Poachers in the 20th century wiped out most of this white rhino subspecies mainly for their horns. More than 2,000 of the animals roamed wild in the 1960's. The only remaining northern whites today are two captive females—Sudan’s daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, Fatu. Neither is able to produce offspring naturally.
Researchers hope to keep this subspecies alive by artificially fertilizing Najin and Fatu’s eggs with sperm frozen from male northern white rhinos and then implanting the fertilized eggs into a female southern white rhino—a subspecies that was also threatened but has since grown exponentially because of conservation efforts. Last year as part of a campaign to raise money for such in vitro fertilization attempts, which experts say could cost as much as $9 million, Sudan acquired a Tinder account where people can donate money by swiping right.
Sadly, if it doesn't work this majestic species will go the way of the Passenger Pigeon.