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The world’s last remaining male northern white rhinoceros has died.
Sudan was euthanized yesterday, according to reports, after he was suffering too much pain from a degenerative disease.
There are only two females left – his daughter and granddaughter. Before Sudan was put down, ‘genetic material’ was collected from him, with conservationists hoping it can be used for breeding.
Much of the species was killed by hunting in earlier times – followed by illegal poaching in recent years.
Sudan, who lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, was described as a ‘gentle giant’ by staff there.
Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, said: “He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him.
“But there was nothing mean about him.”
Sudan before he died
Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s Chief Executive, added: “We on Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death.
“He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity.
“One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”
Sudan was 45.