This older gentleman is a celebrity figure for his species, but for an unfortunate reason. His name is Sudan, and he is the very last male northern white rhino in the world. He currently resides at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
Unfortunately, Sudan’s health has been deteriorating in the past month. In late 2017, he developed an age-related infection in one of his hind legs and was treated immediately. The infection cleared, and he was back to normal health by January. However in recent weeks, a second and deeper infection was discovered on the same leg. This new infection has been treated but is taking longer to heal.
“We are very concerned about him – he’s extremely old for a rhino and we do not want him to suffer unnecessarily,” the conservancy said in a statement.
HIs survival is crucial. He’s famous for joining Tinder in 2017 at the age of 43 in a last-ditch effort to find a mate.
The dating pool is particularly small — there are only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, and all three rhinos are protected 24/7 by armed guards —- but that doesn’t make hooking up any easier. Obstacles such as old age and low fertility keep the rhinos from procreating naturally.
The Tinder profile was a way to raise publicity and funding for in-vitro fertilization, which is the only possible way to breed the last members of the species due to age and health concerns. But if IVF procedures work, then conservationists could potentially bring back northern white rhinos to the wild in a matter of decades. Unfortunately, it’s a very, very big “if.”
Sudan accepts visitors on a daily basis at his home while he waits to find out if there will ever be a continuation of his line, and the species.