After watching the movie Annihilation, I've been feeling pretty spaced-out when it comes to our species as a whole. Sure, I still get upset when someone cuts me off in traffic, and itis moments like that, and others, like waiting in line at Walmart to buy plastic Easter Eggs for my son, where the absurdity of our existence we set up for ourselves really comes into focus.
I just feel like animals have a better handle on things than human beings do. Elephants mourn their dead way more passionately than humans do, dogs are way more loyal than any human being could ever be, and to top it all off, you never get the feeling that an animal wishes it could be something other than the animal it is.
What I mean is, although I don't claim to know what a mouse is thinking or feeling, you never see a mouse act like a lion or climb up a tree and pretend to fly like a bird. But human beings, like myself, pretend to be things we're not all the time.
The one thing that human beings do have down pat, however, is survival. Oftentimes at the expense of others. There are groups out there trying to save endangered animals from extinction, but there's only so much work we can do to reverse breeds from dying out.
Sadly, it looks like White Rhinoceroses are doomed for extinction, as the last male of the species, Sudan, recently passed away in a Kenyan Wildlife Conservatory.
It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday). #SudanForever #TheLoneBachelorGone #Only2Left pic.twitter.com/1ncvmjZTy1— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
The news was confirmed by the Ol Pejeta Conservatory on March 19th. His official cause of death was linked to old age, which prohibited him from properly healing from skin wounds and muscle and bone degeneration.
Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Since Sudan was suffering and there was no hope for him getting better, he was euthanized.
The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Rhinos are still being hunted, with permits selling for as much as $350,000 to kill the beasts, a fate that Sudan escaped in the 70s when he was brought into Zoo captivity. He helped with the preservation of his kind by fathering two female White Rhinos.
Sudan will be remembered for his unusually memorable life. In the 1970s, he escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Although he is the last male Northern White Rhino, scientists are still hopeful that they can preserve his DNA for future attempts at sustaining the species.
Additionally, his genetic material was collected yesterday and provides a hope for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Ol Pejeta gave him a fitting memorial, which was shared in a series of tweets to to help raise awareness to the dwindling numbers of Rhinos in the wild.
During his final years, Sudan came back to Africa and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
“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— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
as a result of unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists world wide,” said Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s CEO.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
Unfortunately, Sudan’s death leaves just two female northern white rhinos on the planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remain at Ol Pejeta.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
For now, the conservatory will attempt to impregnate female rhinos via IVF procedures to keep the Northern White species going.
The only hope for the preservation of this subspecies now lies in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018
People from all over lamented over the news of Sudan's death.
RIP #SUDAN I hold the world responsible for the death of a species - I hold my head in shame for those whose indulgence & lies of Eastern Medicine have driven the last of his kind into non-existence. I really do not feel part of the human race - I just live among you... Anneka :( pic.twitter.com/Uh9eVcqIXw— Anneka Svenska (@AnnekaSvenska) March 20, 2018
Including Bindi Irwin, daughter of the famed crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, who followed in her family's animal-conservation footsteps.
Today was heartbreaking for us all as the world says goodbye to Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on Earth. We are sending all our love to the team at @OlPejeta who have lost part of their family today. Now, more than ever, we must stand together and protect our rhinos. pic.twitter.com/uTX2kmUjEL— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) March 20, 2018
Along with celebrities.
Here's hoping IVF procedures can reverse the ominous fate of the Northern White Rhinoceros and they can enjoy a happier fate like these animal species.