This morning we woke up to the very sad news.
We learned that Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino in the world, has passed away yesterday in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
As Sudan was an icon for the conservation world and helped so much the conservation efforts for many species, not just rhinos, we felt that we wanted to write something for his memory right away.
Sudan also holds an extraordinary place in our hearts, because we met him in person in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in February 2016. Saying that he had a significant impact on us, feels like an understatement. Meeting him made us realize how sad it is that so many species are under severe threats because of irresponsible actions of humans.
We realized how much we wanted to do our share in helping the wildlife conservation efforts and it was then when we also had many of our ideas on how to do this. World With Wildlife is one of those ideas come into existence, and we are so grateful for all of you that have supported us and the cause of conservation through this little shop! Together we may still win this battle for the survival of species!
When Meeting Sudan
We’ll always remember when we stepped into Sudan’s closure, how we felt huge respect, slight fear, and keen interest towards this beautiful and significant animal who was standing right there, just a few meters from us. Despite his enormous power, he was very calm, and a tranquil atmosphere surrounded him. One of his caretakers, James, was with us and he told us that we could approach him from the right side, which was his seeing eye.
We’ll never forget how it felt to be so near to such a big animal and be even petting Sudan while he was calmly eating his dinner! That was one of those moments you will remember for the rest of your life and a moment that we cannot really describe with words.
Today, we feel so privileged to have been able to meet Sudan when he was in good health and the charming bachelor character that he was. We are also very sad because we know how big a loss to the world his passing really is.
But even in the middle of all this grief, we must remember all the good things and the huge, positive impact that Sudan had to the conservation. He lived an extraordinary life, indeed.
The Future of the Northern White Rhino
Sudan’s daughter, Najin, and her daughter Fatu are now the only two Northern White Rhinos left and they remain at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Though Sudan was the last male of his species in the whole world, there is still a vague hope that his species may survive.
But the only hope for the preservation of this subspecies now lies in developing in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females. We genuinely hope that the science will succeed in this project!
The Legacy of Sudan
Sudan was already 45 years old, and he was sick due to the age-related complications in his last weeks, but he still was a fighter until the end!
And when his health deteriorated quickly in his last 24 hours, his caretakers in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya made the only right decision; to let him go. No animal should never suffer unnecessarily, and we as humans are responsible for that. We have the responsibility of the animals until the end. And we owe them that they can leave this world with dignity when their time has come.
Richard Vigne, the CEO of Ol Pejeta said: “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 the unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”
We certainly won't let Sudan’s legacy be forgotten! We hope that you won’t, either. Thank you for reading this.
It's time to say goodbye now. Rest in peace, Sudan, our friend. We will never forget you!
– “May your spirit carry on, like the wind that shakes the trees.“ –