Nearly wiped out by poachers and a highly lucrative rhino horn black market, the Northern White Rhino is on the brink of extinction. Native to several countries in eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa, the Northern White Rhino’s population has crashed from roughly 500 in the early 1970s to a mere 15 by the late 1980s.
Sudan, a rhino at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, is now the last male Northern White Rhino in the world. Sudan was caught in 1973 at the age of 3, and he was named for the nation of his birth. He became the last male of his subspecies after Angalifu (born in 1974 and residing at the San Diego Zoo) died of natural causes on December 14th, 2014.
The problem is that Sudan’s horn could fetch more than $75,000 per kg (2.2 lbs), which is why heavily armed poachers have nearly eradicated this species over the last few decades. Sudan’s survival to this point is mainly due to his living almost his entire life in captivity – first at the Dvůr Králové nad Labem zoo in the Czech Republic and, since December of 2009, to the “Last Chance To Survive” breeding program conducted at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya.