There are currently seven remaining Northern White Rhinos in the world. The species has been hunted to the brink of extinction by poachers, hoping to make money by selling the animal’s horns.
After losing the only other two males in 2014, there now exists just one living male Northern White Rhino. The animal, named Sudan, currently lives at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, 200 kilometers north of Nairobi in Kenya. Sudan moved to the conservancy from the Czech Republic Dvur Kralove Zoo on December 20th, 2009, along with three female Northern White Rhinos, Najin, Fatu and Suni.
But the rhinos do not live at Ol Pejeta Conservancy alone. They are accompanied by a team of experienced rangers who monitor the 90,000 acres of conservation land, guarding the rhinos against dangerous poachers.
To protect these giants, the rangers work with local law enforcement agencies and use GPS trackers, radio houses, surveillance aircrafts and dogs trained to detect humans and security breaches.
The rhino horn black market is extremely lucrative. One horn can bring in more than $75,000 per kilogram or 2.2 pounds, which is the reason poachers have nearly wiped out the entire species.
These four rhinos were moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy to provide the most favorable breeding conditions, in the hopes of bringing the species back from the edge of extinction. It’s believed that the climate, diet and security of the conservancy gives them the best chance for repopulation.
Conservationists and scientists are also considering artificial insemination or cross-breeding the females with similar rhino sub-species and then breeding the next generation back into pure Northern White Rhinos.
Image credits: Dai Kurokawa/European Press Agency