news Friday, April 17, 2015 - 05:30

The Western black rhino has become extinct and conservationalists have now focussed their efforts on saving the only five members of the northern white rhino species that remain in existence.

There’s a possibility that in the year 2015, the last remaining male rhino of the species- Sudan, succumbs to death, thereby eliminating any chances that the sub-species might survive.

Sudan is the last known male northern white rhino left in the world. He lives at conservancy along with his female companions Fatu and Najin. At the conservancy, experts are trying to do all that they can to ensure that this subspecies of Rhinos does not disappear, reported CNN.

As a part of conservation efforts, the animals have been put under 24 hour protection with armed guards. Poachers who target Rhinos are fuelled by the age old belief in Asia that their horns are capable of curing various ailments. According to experts, this makes the rhino horn trade, more lucrative than drugs.

At the age of 42, Sudan is old in Rhino years. Fatu in comparison is 15 years old while Najin is 25 years old. While being physiologically healthy is one thing, their ages may have an important role to play in the natural reproduction processes and conservancy, said the report.

According to George Paul, a deputy veterinarian at the conservancy, Sudan is old and may not be able to naturally mount a female. In addition to this problem, he also has a low sperm count which tends to complicate matters. Also, Najin who is a possible mate, could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak that she may not be able to support a mounted male, according to the report.

If a mating process does not successfully take place, the species may go extinct as well.