Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sudan, The only Male Northern White Rhino has died

When you become so passionate about animals, you elevate them to the same status as human beings, to a point where you mourn the death of an animal equally to that of a human being.
This is the second time in a week i am reporting the death of some famous animals i have been able to see and photograph over the years. Last week i reported about Kanyonyi the male gorilla in Bwindi, and now it is about the death of the only northern white rhino male. Many may not know the devastation such news mean.

Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday). Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. 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.

I am happy to have seen and photographed Sudan while alive, but at the same time, i am sad that future generations will only see them in pictures. While we mourn Sudan, there are many other species around the world faced with extinction. What are we doing to save them, since their extinction is due to our negligence or cause. Lets stand up and save our planet.

Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life. In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females. Additionally, his genetic material was collected yesterday and provides a hope for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies. During his final years, Sudan came back to Africa and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.

Unfortunately, Sudan’s death leaves just two female northern white rhinos on the planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remain at Ol Pejeta. The only hope for the preservation of this subspecies now lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.

Sudan when he was still alive an strong to stand on his own

Myself and a professional photographer, Mr. Roger Hooper, who is a conservationist, when he visited Sudan to photograph and document his plight in order to raise awareness through photography. His photos featured in a "Remembering Rhinos" exhibition campaign (in London) and in the  book ‘Remembering Rhinos’  

One of the rangers, Mr. Mutai with Sudan on Olpejeta Conservancy. He spent many years as Sudan's keeper  and is one thats saddened most. I call him this morning to comfort him as i know very well how he feels. He was interviewed on BBC online for those of you who follows that. He told me this morning, there are about 1000 media groups coming to cover this story. So you will hear some comments from him

Two female white Rhinos. One is a northern white and the other a southern. Can you spot the difference?.... 
Well the one on the left is a northern white Rhino female. Please note the fringes (fur) which lines the edge of her ears, which is missing on the southern white female. There are other differences which i will leave to you to figure out

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