Friday, 19 December 2014

One of six known Northern White Rhinos has died!

I am doing a mini post to announce some bad news. Angalifu the Northern White Rhino has passed away; he was one of only six known northern white rhinos left. I am not going to explain how rhinos are epic creatures...even though they are natures battering rams.

Suni(left - deceased male) and Najin(right)
This is bad news for the rhino sub-species as the last confirmed one seen in the wild was in 2006 and is believed to be dead. The only known ones remaining are in captivity. It has never been confirmed, but on November 28th, 2009 two Russian helicopter pilots believed they spotted two rhinos in southern Sudan. One can only hope they are successfully hiding from us in the wild.

Angalifu died at the age of 44 in the San Diego Zoo, survived by Nola, an elderly female. The remaining northern white rhinos are: Sudan, a male in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and the only male left. Najin and Fatu, two females in Kenya with Sudan and an elderly female at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in Czech Republic.

Najin (Left) and Suni (Right)
Despite many efforts they have not managed to breed them and with only one male left it makes it harder as he is older. The only hope left for reproducing is "artificial reproduction techniques". The San Diego Zoo has preserved some of Angalifus testicular tissue and sperm to try in the future.

This is yet another example of how much we affect the wildlife on this planet; the northern white rhino is so close to extinction mainly because of poaching. In the 1970s to 1980s the population was reduced from 500 to 15! We managed to get them back up to 32 by 2003 but since then poaching got worse and we were left with 7 by 2007! Lets hope they are hiders and are staying safe from poachers!

The noble Sudan
Sorry to leave you on such a bad note but hopefully my December epic creature will cheer you up!

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