Sudan, last Northern male white rhino on earth passes on peacefully

Rangers keeping surveillance of the late Sudan at the Olpejeta conservancy PHOTO COURTESY

 Laikipia,KENYA:The last remaining male Northern white rhino on earth has passed on .

The rhino named Sudan from the country where it was rescued  from passed away on Monday at the Olpejeta conservancy in Laikipia county .

According to a press release from the Olpejeta conservancy, Sudan who passed on aged 45 was being treated for age related complications that adversely affected his skin and bones making it difficult for him to stand up hence a decision  was made to put him to rest peacefully.

“His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.” The Ol-pejeta conservancy said in a statement.

Sudan who was originally born in the Shambe national park in present day South Sudan was rescued to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech republic in 1975 while he was still a baby to escape civil war between Sudan and South Sudan.

Towards the late 2000’s the Northern White rhino had been considered by conservationists as one of the most critically endangered sub-species.

Conservationists blame the 1970’s and 1980’s African poaching crisis fueled by the demand of rhino horn to make traditional Chinese medicine to the extinction of the sub-species which was common in  neighboring countries of Uganda,Chad and Central African Republic.

A population of about 20-30 Northern white rhino’s that were remaining at the Garamba national park in the democratic republic of Congo are believed to have succumbed to fighting in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

In 2008 Sudan and three Northern white rhino’s his daughter Najin, her daughter Fatu and another male  Suni were moved from the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech republic to the Olpejeta conservancy in Kenya and put under 24 hour surveillance in a bid to provide a fertile breeding climate for the species .

However none of their mating activities ever resulted in a successful pregnancy.

In 2014 Suni the second last remaining male Northern white rhino passed on aged 34 years at the conservancy prompting scientists to introduce a male Southern white Rhino to the two female Northern white Rhino’s in a bid to save the sub-species but that again proved unsuccessful.

The conservancy says more than sh 900 million is needed for an IVF process to save the critically endangered sub-species.

The process would see eggs safely removed from the late Sudan’s daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu which will be fertilized  from semen that had been collected from the Northern white males.

“Sudan was the last northern white rhino that was born in the wild. His death is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him. But we should not give up. We must take advantage of the unique situation in which cellular technologies are utilized for conservation of critically endangered species. It may sound unbelievable, but thanks to the newly developed techniques even Sudan could still have an offspring .We will be happy for everyone who will help us in our joint effort.,” said Jan Stejskal, Director of International Projects at Dvůr Králové Zoo.

Former Environment  and natural resources CS professor Judy Wakhungu is among Kenyan leaders who have mourned the late Sudan.