Last year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared that Africa’s Western black rhino was officially extinct. At the time, they also noted that the Northern white rhino was also “teetering on the edge of extinction.” Unfortunately, today it was announced that extinction for the Northern White Rhino may be inevitable after one of two remaining male rhinos died suddenly at a wildlife conservancy.

Northern White Rhino, Southern White Rhino, extinction, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nairobi, ivory, Africa's Western rhino,

The male rhino was called Suni – a 34 year old Northern white who was the first to be born in captivity. He was found dead on Friday by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nairobi. While the south white rhino has enjoyed a population resurgence on the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, Suni’s death means that there are now only six Northern whites left in the world. There is only one other breeding male, and he too is in captivity. None are believed to still live in the wild.

Suni was born in the Czech Republic in 1980 and was taken to the Ol Pejeta sanctuary in 2009 as part of a breeding program. It was hoped that the 90,000 acre sanctuary would help the rhino’s reproduction. In a statement, the Ol Pejeta conservancy said: “The species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race.

“We will continue to do what we can to work with the remaining three animals on Ol Pejeta in the hope that our efforts will one day result in the successful birth of a northern white rhino calf.”

+ Ol Pejeta Sanctuary

Via The Guardian

Images Ol Pejeta Sanctuary and Heather Paul