This is unprecedented for me because I usually only talk about animals on Thursdays but I woke up to some sad news in my Google Now feed. For those of you who have followed Reactionary Tales for a while know that I started a series called Endangered Thursdays where I highlight beasties from around the world that are struggling from the threat of extinction. This subject is something I’m quite passionate about as I’ve worked for many years in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and awareness was always number one priority.
The very first creature I highlighted way back a year ago was the Northern White Rhino. I talked a bit about Sudan and how he was the last surviving member of this species. Back then my posts were only a paragraph or two and I didn’t go into much detail like I do now. But, for those that are fairly recent to RT, feel free to check out the original post HERE.
Now, as I’d mentioned in the post, Sudan was the last surviving Northern White Rhino. I was actually right and wrong at the same time. He was the last surviving member in the wild but there are still two female northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu, who live at a conservancy in Kenya. Sudan was the last surviving MALE member of the species. He lived in a heavily guarded open habitat for most of his life because poachers are the reason this species have declined from 2,000, in 1960, to 3.
Sudan was very popular. Not only was he very cute, but he had his own Tinder profile created to collect donations to help fund his in vitro fertilization surgery. The goal was to collect as much sperm from him as they could because socializing with Najin and Fatu in order to get them to breed naturally was unsuccessful.
Last night, Sudan was euthanized. He was 45 years old and his health had just declined to the point that veterinarians decided it was time to let the old guy go. Now there are only the 2 females of the species that exist and sadly the outlook for this species just looks even more bleak. Even though sperm was harvested from Sudan, the only way to grow another northern rhino would be through some serious scientific miracles almost. You see, between Najin and Fatu, one is sterile, so that’s not an option and the other could be artificially inseminated but it might kill her because she’s just not physically able to carry a baby rhino. Scientists are looking to see if they can essentially grow an egg in a petri dish of sorts to insert into a Southern white rhino that can carry to full term.
Overall this just made me so sad but appreciative of modern technology. I know some people don’t agree with this kind of stuff but considering humans are the main cause for this extinct in the wild creature, I appreciate any and all last ditch efforts to save these animals and I for one will continue to bring as much awareness on my blog in my tiny little corner of the internet about animals and their survival struggles.