So long, Sudan!
As a dinosaur fan when I was a kid, co-existing with some still living triceratops on earth inside the timeline of my life was hope, heuristic and what made me go on. But now I’m grown and I’ve learned more. It just leaves tears.
After Suni died 4 years ago, Sudan became the last surviving male Northern white rhinoceros in the world. And he died yesterday in Kenya at the age of 45.
The remaining of the subspecies are 2 females, daughter and granddaughter of Sudan. Although Sudan had his sperm frozen and stored and cloning may sound like an option, the subspecies will still probably have to be declared extinct following the West African black rhino and Vietnamese Javan rhino which were both declared extinct 7 years ago.
All of the rhinos gone extinct human witnessed were subspecies. The African rhino that is closer to a full species extinction is the Black rhino.
Just in case if you didn’t know, as the media coverage is mainly on the African species, the rhinos which are facing much more critical situations are the Asian species. There are around 25,000 African rhinos left. Less than 4,000 Asian rhinos are left where the Javan rhino (full species) being one of the most endangered mammals on earth. 2 out of 3 subspecies of the Javan rhino have gone extinct. The last subspecies (Indonesian Javan rhino) population is estimated at around 63 left. The most endangered subspecies of rhino is the Bornean rhino which only around 15 individuals left in total.
Rhinoceros have lived on earth for over 25 million years. Having experienced them gone extinct one by one during merely 7 years within our human lives is just plain devastating, irrecoverably.