Meet Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on the planet.
This species of rhino has been nearly wiped out due to poachers and a highly lucrative rhino horn black market. But thanks to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Sudan isn’t alone in his quest to stay alive.
As shared by Mashable, an experienced team of rangers at the conservancy monitor the 90,000-acre private conservation area and work with local law enforcement agencies to ensure Sudan’s safety. The tools they use include GPS trackers, surveillance aircraft, and dogs specially trained to detect human and security breaches.
Because Sudan’s horn could fetch more than $75,000 per kg (2.2 lbs), he is a heavily-hunted rhino. Its due to the worth of ivory that poachers have nearly eradicated this species over the past few decades.
To increase the population of the great northern white rhino (the largest rhino species that presently exists), scientists are considering artificially inseminating or cross-breeding the females (of which there are only five left in the world) with similar rhino sub-species, and then breeding the resulting rhinos back into pure northern white rhinos.
The ongoing civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and incursions by poachers coming mainly from Sudan have only made protecting endangered species that much more difficult, but the rangers bravely persist.
Through rallied effort to raise awareness and help curb illegal poaching, species like the Northern White Rhino will hopefully live on.