Known for Last male of his subspecies left in the world,Sudan (born 1973 – March 19, 2018) was a captive northern white rhinoceros who lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya. He was known for being one of only three living northern white rhinoceroses in the world, and the last known male of his subspecies. Sudan was euthanised on March 19, 2018, after suffering from “age-related complications”.
Sudan was born in Sudan (now South Sudan), caught in Shambe, South Sudan on November 19, 1973, and shipped to the Dvůr Králové Zoo (Czech Republic) for their northern white rhinoceros display. In December 2009, Sudan was moved from Dvůr Králové Zoo to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy for a “Last Chance To Survive” breeding program, along with three other northern white rhinoceroses. It was hoped that Ol Pejeta would provide a more natural habitat for the animals to induce breeding.
Sudan was the father of Nabire (dam: Nasima, studbook number 0351),who was born November 15, 1983, and died at Dvůr Králové Zoo July 2015. He was also the father of Najin, who was transported to Ol Pejeta Conservancy along with him in 2009. Najin was born in 1989, again with the dam being Nasima. Sudan has sired only one other offspring besides Nabire and Najin. Sudan was the grandfather of Fatu through his daughter Najin. For breeding, Sudan’s studbook number was 0372.
As one of the other three rhinos transported in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Suni, died in 2014, Sudan lived the final years of his life with his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu. Northern white rhinoceroses are guarded 24 hours a day at the conservancy to protect them from poaching, which is a major problem for rhinoceroses. The protection includes horn-embedded transmitters, watchtowers, fences, drones, guard dogs, and trained armed guards around the clock.
The second-to-last male in the world was Angalifu, who lived at the San Diego Zoo with Nola until his death on December 14, 2014.Angalifu was beyond breeding age, leaving Sudan as the only fertile male in the world even when Angalifu was alive.However, breeding attempts with Sudan at Ol Pejeta Conservancy were unsuccessful.
There are ongoing attempts at in vitro fertilization of eggs from Najin and Fatu with semen from Sudan and to implant the resulting blastocysts in suitable female southern white rhinos.
At the end of 2017, Sudan suffered from an infection in his right hind leg. Although his condition improved in subsequent months, the infection returned, and, in March 2018, his state seriously deteriorated, despite intensive care.Sudan was euthanised on March 19, 2018 after suffering from “age-related complications”.In the weeks before Sudan’s death, Richard Vigne, CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, stated that “Sudan has been technically infertile for many years, so him dying is not going to affect the possibilities of recovery for the northern white rhino as a species.
In February 2015, Ol Pejeta launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the rangers guarding the rhinos.In May 2015, after contacting Ol Pejeta, Dubai-based Pakistani entrepreneurs Hamid Hussain and Muhammad Yaqoob started a global campaign to create awareness and bring people to Ol Pejeta to help in generating revenues for the IVF treatments and other forms of assisted reproduction by inviting celebrities to visit Ol Pejeta. Among the celebrities who visited Sudan were actors Nargis Fakhri and Khaled Abol Naga.
In 2017, Ol Pejeta Conservancy teamed up with Tinder and Ogilvy Africa to launch a fundraising campaign in order to recover the species. They created a Tinder account for Sudan, the last standing male of northern white rhinos, and the app’s users could swipe right to make their donations for the development of breeding methods.