Today we learned that Sudan had to be euthanized yesterday. Sudan was the last male northern white rhino left on earth. Now there are only two left…his daughter and granddaughter.
Sudan was captured as a youngster and taken to a zoo in Europe. In the early ’70’s, that probably saved his life. The last documented wild sightings of a northern white were in 2006. In 2009, Sudan was returned to Africa…Kenya this time. He lived out his life under 24/7 armed guard. His genetic material was harvested and there are hopes that a southern white rhino can be a surrogate for a northern white baby.
Seven years ago, the western black rhino was declared extinct. Now there are only 2 northern whites. The Javan and Sumatran each have about 100 or less…and the fewer there are, the less genetic diversity which is critical to survival.
They are being wiped off the planet by us. By deforestation. By greed over the horn that is the most expensive black market commodity out there. The horn is not medicine…not for hangovers, fever, cancer, or anything else. IT IS NOT MEDICINE. The horn should not be jewelry, daggers, or any other “symbol of wealth.”
We are profoundly saddened by Sudan’s death. We are deeply affected by the knowledge that happened because of us. And so we are moved to make a change. We cannot let this trajectory continue. We will not stand idly by while these animals are eliminated. We will be the change we want to see in the world. Our children and our grandchildren will not only see a rhino when they Google “Sudan.”
Rest in peace, Sudan. We are sorry. And we will do everything we can to never let this happen again.