Global conservationists pay tribute to the last male white rhino Sudan

March 31, 2018 1:52 pm
Speaking during the rare ceremony, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said that the government is keen on imposing hefty fines on poachers to ensure wildlife animals are protected/FILE

, NANYUKI, Kenya March 31- Fifteen kilometers from Nanyuki town, leaders from across the globe paid tribute to the last Northern White Rhino popularly known as Sudan at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County at the Rhino memorial site.

In the vast 90,000 acres of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sudan was trending on social sites under the hashtag #BORNHORNY

Rhino memorial site

At the rhino memorial site, 19 capstones of rhinos are also seen and Sudan was placed among the other rhino species most of them killed by poachers and their trophies taken.

For a period of four solid years, James Mwenda was the lead caretaker of the last beast that was the last hope of the Northern White Rhino that are on the verge of extinction with only two females remaining

James said that he has been taking care of Sudan by ensuring his life was taken care of day and night and protected from the rough hands of poachers.

“In March 2015, I was feeding Sudan and noticed a teardrop in his eye that made me to raise alarm, I realized I should be more of a caretaker, Sudan needed someone by his side,” emotional James noted.

He said that Sudan has helped him to understand that animals too require their rights to be observed just like humans.

“As human beings, we need to ensure we educate our people on the need to care for animals and ensure we come up with laws to protect them for our future generation,” he stated

“We need to understand it is our calling to make the world a better place for animals, we need to protect our heritage for the generations to come,” James noted.

“Sudan is calling us today to ensure we live to ensure every person serves an animal in his lifetime and this is the only way we can ensure we respect the species and other animals on the verge of extinction,” he noted

In the time he catered for The Last Bachelor, James said that the greatest grief Sudan has for human is how we treat the animals that have been left behind.

Saving Northern White Rhino is zero chances

According to the CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Richard Vigne, the chances of saving the Northern White Rhino are extremely small and probably this species will be extinct.

“The chances of procreation through science are almost impossible and we have to improvise ways of creating embryos that can be fertilized to revive the fallen hero since the remaining two cannot reproduce,” he stated

His clearly noted that scientists have a big challenge to come up with technological innovations that could potentially bring back northern white rhinos from the brink of extinction. He stated that some advances like IVF engineering, may hopefully be used one day in preventing the extinction of other species, breaking new ground in global conservation technology.

“It is really expensive and a drop in the ocean, saving the species through technology will also help in reviving other animals that are on the verge of extinction,” Richard stated.

Richard also reported that the current rise of extinction is faster than that of dinosaurs as a result of human activities that do not care for the next generation or welfare of animals.

As humans we have the power to protect these species from extinction.

Sudan is a fallen hero

In his speech, Richard said that despite his later inability to breed, there is no doubt that he now goes down as the most prolific rhino ambassador in history. He noted that the last rhino story has been chronicled in movies, documentaries, news feature segments and innumerable other media platforms.

”Hundreds of people including Presidents, business leaders, conservationists, sports and media personalities and excited schoolchildren had a transformative experience after meeting him. He was the subject of numerous sculptures, art exhibitions, school projects and even tattoos; all of these being great tributes to the last male standing,” he said

His death

Sudan died at the age of 45 on19th March, 2018 after suffering from age-related health issues and from a series of infection.

Once his condition worsened significantly and he was unable to stand up and evidently, suffered a great deal, the decision to euthanize him was made by his veterinary team.

He lived at Dvůr Králové Zoo until December 2009 when he was relocated to Ol Pejeta Conservancy together with three other northern white rhinos – Suni (deceased), Najin and Fatu.

In 2014, two of the three remaining males – Suni and Angalifu died and Sudan was the only hope of the species that was on the blink species.

In 2015 after a series of tests, it became clear that his days of youthful vigour were behind him, he could not procreate with only two calves are known to have been fathered by him -Najin and granddaughter Fatu.

Like in most cases in life, the females didn’t seem very keen on him in his old age, to the extent that they had eventually to be kept in separate paddocks.


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