The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, according to a Kenyan wildlife conservatory and anti-poaching NGO WildAid, spelling the likely extinction for the subspecies.
Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced that 45-year-old Sudan was put down on Monday after battling multiple age-related infections that left him unable to stand. The decision to euthanize Sudan was taken with consultation of Kenyan wildlife officials and representatives from the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, where he previously lived.
Northern white rhinos used to roam central Africa, with an estimated population of 2,000 in 1960, according to the World Wildlife Fund. But conflict and poaching have driven the subspecies to the brink of extinction in the wild.
Sudan’s death leaves only two northern white rhinos in the world, his daughter Najin, 27, and granddaughter Fatu, 17, who remain at the Ol Pejeta reserve. Though the females were unable to conceive naturally, efforts to save the subspecies have not come to an end.