The world's last surviving male northern white rhino who lived in Kenya, has died after months of ill health, his caretakers said on Tuesday.
Sudan, 45, lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He was put to sleep on Monday after age-related complications worsened significantly, reports the BBC.
His death leaves only two females -- his daughter and granddaughter -- of the sub-species alive in the world.
Hope for preserving the northern white rhino now lies in developing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques.
Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life. In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Additionally, his genetic material was collected yesterday and provides a hope for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
During his final years, Sudan came back to Africa and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Attempts to use Sudan to prolong the species with the two surviving female rhinos had failed, and an account was created for him on the dating app Tinder last year, not to find love, but to help fund the development of IVF for rhinos.
Sudan's genetic material was collected on Monday, conservationists said, to support future attempts to reproduce northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies, using stored semen and eggs from the females, Najin and Fatu.
Sudan, who was the equivalent of 90 in human years, was being treated for degenerative changes in his muscles and bones, combined with extensive skin wounds.
He was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal in his last 24 hours, Ol Pejeta Conservancy tweeted on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, Sudan’s death leaves just two female northern white rhinos on the planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remain at Ol Pejeta.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
The only hope for the preservation of this subspecies now lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Sudan shot to limelight earlier in 2017 when a joint campaign by Ol Pejeta and dating app Tinder was launched in order to save the species. The rhino had a profile on Tinder, which earned him fans all over the world.
Titled the “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World”, Sudan’s profile read, “I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of the species literally depends on me. "I perform well under pressure… 6ft (183cm) tall and 5,000lb (2,268kg) if it matters.”
The target of the crowdfunding campaign, to which people could contribute via Sudan’s profile on Tinder, was to reach an ambitious $9 million.