Last rhino on Earth guarded 24/7

A rhino named Sudan is being guarded by armed rangers at every moment of the day because he is the last of his kind on Earth. Sudan is the only male of the northern white rhino subspecies remaining, thanks to ruthless poaching that has reached catastrophic levels in recent years. His relatives and ancestors have been slaughtered for their horns, which are sold for huge amounts of money in Asia, where they’re believed to cure a range of ailments.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Fixed with radio transmitters to increase security, Sudan is surrounded by armed rangers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, who work day and night to keep the 40-year-old Sudan and two female rhinos of his subspecies alive. (There are only two other northern white rhinos in the world, two females also in captivity.)

And they took an extra precaution: removing his horn. “The only reason his horn has been cut off is to deter poachers,” Elodie Sampere, of the conservancy, told The Dodo. “If the rhino has no horn, he is of no interest to poachers. This is purely to keep him safe.”

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

“With the rising demand for rhino horn and ivory, we face many poaching attempts and while we manage to counter a large number of these, we often risk our lives in the line of duty,” Simor Irungu, a ranger who guards Sudan and other rhinos at the conservancy, said in an interview with UK’s World of Animals.

Sudan and three other rhinos came to the conservancy from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009, with the hope of breeding the rhinos in a climate and environment more natural to them. But by 2014, no baby rhinos had been born. The other male rhino, Suni, died at age 34 in October of last year, leaving Sudan and the two females left at the conservancy. Attempts to breed Sudan, the last male breeding rhino of the subspecies in the world, have been unsuccessful.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Surrounded by guards day and night, the conservancy participated in a#RunningForRangers fundraising campaign to help sustain Sudan’s security team.

The lengths humans have gone to keep this rhino alive underscore just how merciless other humans have been.

Learn how you can help keep Sudan the rhino safe.


3 thoughts on “Last rhino on Earth guarded 24/7

  1. The next Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) is due 24 Sept – 5 October 2016, in South Africa.

    I have written to the UK Member of Parliament (Secretary of State for DEFRA) to ask what the UK is planning to propose at CoP17, plus suggesting the CITES Appendix I listing of white rhino, African elephant and African lion. But, as the above article suggests, CITES enforcement appears an illusion against the back drop of the illegal (and by dubious and corrupt ‘illegal’ means) taking of species numbers. Plus the added ‘confusion’ introduced by so-called ‘canned’ conservation species numbers (particularly applicable with African lion species numbers). I envisage raising a petition calling for more action from the UK government via CITES, but first I will await the UK government’s official response.

    In the USA CITES communication falls to the US Fish and Wildlife Service(5), with relevant comments pre CoP17 to US FWS closing on 26 October 2015 (so they need to have your thoughts asap). Note: The African lion has been proposed as an addition to the Endangered Species Act list, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has yet to ‘finalise’ the designation (and the process can take over a year to complete) – Hence we hope that CECIL’s Law (proposed July 2015) will be introduced to offer increased protection to African lions in the interim.

    In the meantime, we can all continue to support anti-poaching efforts, the call for the review/banning of Trophy and Canned Hunting, plus applaud those in the public eye (like Sir Richard) that speak out to highlight the vulnerability of endangered species.

    Liked by 1 person

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