OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY, Kenya, 16 April 2015 (Cox Media Group) – After 50 million years, the northern white rhino is one death away from extinction.
The last living male of the species is now under armed guard 24/7 at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
His name is Sudan.
There is hope that Sudan, elderly at 42 years of age, could reproduce with two female northern white rhinos at the conservancy, ages 15 and 25. But specialists say his sperm count is low and he may not be able to mount the females naturally. (Source: CNN)
Scientists are scrambling for alternatives if a natural fertilization does not occur, possibly through artificial insemination in the future. Sperm was preserved from another male northern white rhino who died at the San Diego Zoo last December.
How did this happen? The rhinos have been destroyed in civil wars and hunted by poachers who sell their horns in Asia, where some believe they can cure ailments.
And that is why Sudan is now under 24/7 armed guard.
There is a Go Fund Me page for those who would like to help pay for the effort to pull the northern white rhino back from the brink of extinction.