The last male northern white rhino must now be kept under armed guard 24/7


Sophie McIntyre
Tuesday 14 April 2015 16:19
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino

The last male northern white rhino is under armed guard 24 hours a day at a Kenyan reserve to protect him from poachers.

The rhino, named Sudan, is cared for by rangers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, along with his two female companions.

The trio make up three of the last five northern white rhinos on earth – two other females are also in captivity.

Sudan is fitted with radio transmitters to increase security and has had his horns removed to deter poachers.

“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,” said one of Sudan’s rangers, Simor Irungu in an interview with UK's World of Animals.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there were more than 2,000 northern white rhinos as late as 1960.

However, high levels of poaching mean that there were only 15 animals left in 1980, and only five by 2015.

Kenya Wildlife services have suggested that 54 rhinos were killed by poachers in 2014.

The only other male northern white rhino left on earth died last autumn, of natural causes.

Scientists are now turning their attention to trying to mate Sudan with one of the other two females at the reserve.

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