NAIROBI – The health of the world’s last male northern white rhino was starting to deteriorate, the OI Pejeta conservancy in central Kenya said on Thursday.
The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan, who had just about recovered from an infection in his back right leg at the end of 2017, was recently found to have another “deeper” infection, according to the reserve.
“We feel it is important to inform you that Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on the planet, is starting to show signs of ailing,” the conservation center tweeted.
While the second infection was being treated, the rhino was taking longer to recover.
“We are very concerned about him – he’s extremely old for a rhino and we do not want him to suffer unnecessarily,” said OI Pejeta.
In December 2017, a team of vets and other experts from Kenya, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom and South Africa assessed the rhino and treated the animal.
Besides Sudan, there are two female northern white rhinos at the OI Pejeta reserve.
Sudan is too old to mate, so the only chance of saving the species from extinction is through artificial insemination; something that has never been attempted with rhinos.
The rhino gained popularity after the reserve launched a campaign on the dating app Tinder in a bid to raise $9 million for the fertilization technique to be developed.
“Everything possible is being done to help him regain his health,” the reserve said, adding that he was receiving round-the-clock care.