August 13, 2021

Extinction of Northern White rhino in the wild - last left male "Sudan" died in Captivity.

 Northern White Rhino| Sudan- the last male northern white rhino died| Northern white rhino is now Extinct 


Northern White rhino a subspecies belong to the African Rhino family is certainly extinct now. Many say that the last two females- Fatu and Najin of the subspecies are still alive in captivity under the supervision of veterinarians and protected by forest rangers but practically the northern white rhino had become extinct long back. 

This is an issue of debate as a species is considered extinct if no individuals are left in the wild and are no more part of their ecosystem. The last two females left are the only hope for the world to study the behaviour and characteristics of the Northern white rhino.

Characteristics 

The Northern white rhino is not white actually but grey. These are the 3rd largest animal in the African continent. These weigh around 2000 – 2400 kilograms. 

The Northern white rhino has a distinct wide mouth which assists in grazing throughout the day in the grasslands but on the other hand, another subspecies called Black rhino has a pointed mouth. 

                                         


White Rhino in Singapore Zoo 
Image Source-  Google | Image by - Flickr

Cause of Extinction

The biggest reason for the extinction of the majestic northern rhino is poaching. These used to live and thrive in parts of central Africa - Uganda, Sudan, and regions of the Dominican Republic of Congo but today they all have been wiped out from the wild. 

The rising poverty, unstable political status, and civil war have given rise to the illegal trade of rhino horns which fetch a hefty amount in black markets all over the world. Due to the poor economic conditions of these countries, these have fewer resources and limited scope to protect the flora and fauna. 

Even today it is estimated that around 400 rhinos are being killed by poachers or hunters either by poisoning or gunshots. Despite protection from forest guards and rangers, it is very difficult to cover such a huge habitat covering thousands of kilometers which creates a window for the poachers to carry out their illegal trade of animal parts.  

                                         


"Sudan"- the last male northern white rhino 
Image Source-  Google | Image by - Flickr

 

Conservation 

After the death of the last male northern white rhino "Sudan" in March 2018, through process of frozen sperm collection and IVF, a team of researchers is using techniques of genetic coding to bring back the species in the wild but the last two females left are in their old age and cannot conceive so surrogate female of a different subspecies will be used for the process and hopefully one day we can see the northern white rhinos in the wild again.

 

Northern White Rhino| Sudan- the last male northern white rhino died| Northern white rhino is now Extinct

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