Sudan is the last male Northern White Rhinoceros in the world and the last hope of saving this rare rhino species from complete extinction.
Drastic measures have been put in place to protect Sudan, including an armed guard, a radio collar, and the removal of his horn, which conservationists hope will deter poachers from killing him.
Armed rangers in Sudan guard the last male northern white rhino on earth. His species survived for 50 million years. pic.twitter.com/mIfpOA75fI
— Julian Dutton (@JulianDutton1) April 11, 2015
Sudan lives at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya with two Northern White Rhinoceros females. The hope is that one day he will produce progeny which will continue the species, but he needs to stay alive and safe to do that.
— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) April 13, 2015
Poachers have been a serious threat to many endangered species over the past few years. The rising affluence of many Asian nations has driven a huge demand for animal parts used in traditional eastern medicine. According to the Smithsonian, many endangered animals are turned into remedies such as Asian elephants foot to treat hernias, Sun Bear gallbladder to treat everything from burns to asthma to cancer, various tiger parts to cure toothaches and protect against malicious curses, among other maladies, and rhino horn to relieve fevers, lower blood pressure, and cure cancer. None of these claims have been backed by scientific studies, but that hasn’t stopped the demand for these deadly remedies.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, in 1960 there were over 2,000 northern white rhinos in the wild. Twenty years later, only 15 animals remained due entirely to poaching.