The Last Male Northern White Rhino

The Ceratotherium simum known as white rhinos are one of the largest land mammals, with two genetically different subspecies, the northern and the southern white rhino. They were thought to be extinct, until 1895, when 100 rhinos were found and became protected. At the moment, the total population of the southern white rhino sums up to around 19,600 to 21,000, while the much rarer northern white rhino has a population of only 2.  The problem is that both of the remaining northern white rhinos are female, and they live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy located in Kenya, where armed guards protect them all day.


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White Rhino

One of the two northern white rhinos that remain is called Najin, born in 1989 (daughter of Nasima and Sudan), and the other, her daughter, is named Fatu born in 2000. In 1980 there were only two male white rhinos: Suni and Sudan. Suni died in 1980, and Sudan died on 19 March 2018, being the last male northern white rhino. Sudan died at the age of 45, after suffering because of age-related problems and the worsening of the  infection on his back right leg. Now the only way for the northern white rhinos to reproduce is by in vitro fertilization, which would cost like $9 million.
In the conservancy, they were under constant watch and their horns were sawn off to prevent injuries, and for them to be less valuable to the poachers seeking for their horns. Even with these huge efforts to conserve the specie, their status is NT- near threatened because of the value of their horns. Poachers (someone who catches and kills animals illegally) have been selling their precious horns in exchange of $50,000 per kilo, resulting in an significant decrease in the white rhinos population.

The white rhinos are an example of an endangered species but there many more who are in this position. There are three conservation statuses:

  • Extinct
  • Threatened (where there are 3 categorizes- critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable)
  • Lower risk (near threatened, conservation dependent and least concern)

Examples of endangered animals:

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There are millions of endangered species, which begs the question, how does this happen? well these are some reasons why species are endangered:

  • Changes in the environment which leads to death of species
  • Human activities that damage their environment
  • Global warming
  • Pollution

To help conserve endangered animals, government and organization need to work together and forbid the hunting of these species and put the species in natural conserves. We now have the resources to do so, to work as an international community and help preserve the diversity of this planet.

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