Can you try to imagine the death of the last white man or, maybe black man on earth! That it comes a time when you can hear no more of the male gender of a certain race. One day you wake up to the news that two women are the only surviving members of a certain race!
I know by now some of you are already wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Thinking how no such thing is possible under the sun. But guess what? It recently happened, though not to man but to another of God’s creation.
Sometime last week we saw the sad story of Sudan trending. For those who think I’m talking about Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan or our northern war-torn neighbors, South Sudan, no I’m not. I’m talking about Sudan the rhinoceros.
Sudan was one of the endangered species of the white rhino but of the rare Northern White sub-species ( northern square-lipped rhinoceros) — of course the other sub-species being the Southern White rhinoceros who still have quite a substantial number in terms of population (about 19,000).
Hope you got why I used “race” at the beginning of this article.
Sudan died on 19th last month in OL Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya due to age-related complications (so we were told). He was 45 at the time of his death (scientists say it’s the equivalent of 90 in humans), having been born in 1973. Sudan and his family had been moved to Ol Pejeta from Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic in the year 2009.
There were only three remaining Northern White Rhinos in the whole world, Sudan and his two daughters, Najin and Fatu. Fatu is 17 while her sister is 27. Now we only have two poor females after Sudan’s death.
We can as well say, that’s the end of the Northern White Rhino sub-species of the White Rhino species. In other words, Sudan died with his species. In less than 30 years from now, we will be saying goodbye to the Northern White Rhinoceros. This sub-species will soon join a number of other species who are declared extinct like the other close relative, West African Black Rhinoceros who was declared extinct in 2011; Dodo, a bird I’ve mentioned in quite a number of my previous posts like African Elephant. We also had the Passenger Pigeon, Javan Tiger and the Sea Mink, just to name a few who are no more. Extinct!
It’s so sad! How did we as the human race let that happen! How did we not see this coming? Word from Ol Pejeta Conservancy is that several conservation efforts had been made to try to save the sub-species.
Really! I don’t believe them. At this age of technology I expected more! I expected to hear some positive news even after the death of Sudan, the last male — the other died in 2014 due to natural causes — like,
“we may have lost Sudan, but thank God we still have some of his semen stored in our semen bank”. But guess it’s too late now. We just have to sit and helplessly watch the end of the Northern White Rhino.
Rest in peace Sudan.
Hopefully this is the last time we are going to see this. Seriously, as humans we need to be very careful in the way we take care of these endangered species in the future. From the bottom of my heart I believe it’s our God-given responsibility.
And you should take time, for those who love animals, and pay Sudan’s daughters a visit. They’ll appreciate it, I’m sure. They need our collective love and support, and honestly, you might be seeing this sub-species for the last time on earth. And if you drop by, don’t forget to say hi.