Saying Goodbye

May 4, 2018
A ranger cares for Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, in 2015.
NICHOLE SOBECKI—THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

Sudan was the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros. He died on March 19 at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It is in Kenya, Africa. The world has been mourning his death.

Sudan “stole the hearts of many with his dignity and strength,” said the conservancy on its Facebook page. “It is extremely hard to come to grips with the reality that he is gone forever.”

A Disappearing Species

Thousands of northern white rhinos once roamed Africa. They were hunted nearly to extinction. People kill rhinos for their horns. The horns are used in medicines. They are also used in crafts.

Now only two northern white rhinos remain. Both are female. They are Sudan’s daughter and granddaughter. But conservationists still have hope for the species’ future. They have been developing a new reproductive technique. It uses genetic material from dead northern white rhinos.

Sudan has brought attention to the need for rhino conservation. Photographer Ami Vitale grew close to him. She hopes Sudan’s death will inspire people to work toward saving more animals. “All hope is not lost,” Vitale says. “This can be our wake-up call.”

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