World’s last male northern white rhino placed under armed guard

40-year-old Sudan is guarded 24 hours by rangers at Ol Pejeta in Kenya

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

 

Sudan, a 40-year-old male rhino living in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, has a unique distinction—he is the last male northern white rhino in the world.

That is the reason why Sudan has been de-horned, fitted with radio transmitters and is being kept under 24-hour armed guard at the conservancy, reports The Independent.

Sudan shares Ol Pejeta with two female rhinos of his subspecies. The trio is reportedly three of the last five remaining northern white rhinos in the world. Two other females live in captivity.

There is hope that Sudan will one day be able to produce progeny and possibly save his kind from extinction.

In 1960, there were more than 2,000 northern white rhinos roaming the earth, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Poaching, however, reduced this number to 15 by 1984.

Poachers aren't just dangerous to rhinos, whose horns can reportedly fetch prices of $75,000 per kg or more, but also to the people who try to protect them.

In an interview given in January, Simor Irungu, a ranger who guards Sudan and other rhinos at Ol Pejeta, explained just how perilous his line of work is.

“With the rising demand for rhino horn and ivory, we face many poaching attempts and while we manage to counter a large number of these, we often risk our lives in the line of duty,” Irungu told the website World of Animals.

To provide their rangers with the best possible training and equipment, Ol Pejeta launched a GoFundMe campaign last month. Thus far, the campaign has raised about $7,700.

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