He’s over six feet tall, 5,000 pounds, and his favorite activities include eating grass and taking mud baths. He’s old, about 95 in human terms, but that craggy grin is irresistible. There’s only one catch, the fate of his species literally depends on him finding a mate. Would you swipe right?
The world’s last northern white rhino is a bachelor named Sudan. He’s currently living under armed guard at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy with the last two females of his species, 17-year-old Satu and 27-year-old Najin. Poaching has driven his species to near extinction, and the clock is running out to save them. So far, the threesome has been unable to produce a natural pregnancy, and conservationists are scrambling for another solution.
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#Repost @jamessuter with @repostapp ・・・ This was a sad and inspirational assignment to northern Kenya, working for @unitedforwildlife. This is Sudan (the last male northern white rhino in the world) and Peter. Peter was there to greet Sudan on his arrival at the @olpejeta conservancy in Kenya. He had spent his life in a zoo in the Czech Republic and as part of a programme called 'Last Chance to Survive' was brought to Ol Pejeta with Suni, Najin and Fatu in the hopes that they may breed in a more natural environment – the only northern white rhinos left on earth. Sadly breeding has been unsuccessful and Suni passed away. But there is hope! Teams are coming together alongside @olpejeta to attempt IVF technology to save this subspecies. Lots happening today – stay tuned, it will be worth it.
In vitro fertilization is a popular fertility procedure with great success with humans and even certain animals. But it’s never been done with rhinos. It’s Sudan’s last chance at becoming a father, but it comes with a big price tag. The cost of saving a species is equaling out to be about $9 million. Sudan and his friends need to raise money fast, so they partnered with the popular dating app, Tinder, to get the word out.
Sudan’s dating profile went live this week, and millions of people in 190 countries speaking 40 different languages are swiping right for what Ol Pejeta calls, “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World.” After swiping, users are directed to the Ol Pejeta’s donation page. The organization is accepting all help, no matter how small, to save Sudan’s species from extinction. By Tuesday morning, the site had crashed from the influx of visitors.
Sudan’s advanced age and the constant threat of poachers means the money needs to be raised as quickly as possible. Conservationists are worried that Sudan will either die of old age or be killed for sport before they can go through with the fertilization treatment. The plan is to use Sudan’s sperm to fertilize an egg from one of the two remaining females. The embryo will then be implanted into the womb of a southern white rhino that will serve as surrogate. Southern white rhinos are much more common, and with only two northern females remaining, the risk of childbirth is too great for either Satu or Najin.
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This print “Najin—The Last Rhino” shows Najin, the oldest female northern white rhino on earth, one of only three remaining of her kind. Suter’s prints, taken at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on assignment for @UnitedforWildlife, are symbolic of the rhino poaching crisis. The intent of this assignment was to highlight conservation challenges faced on the ground in Africa. The silent auction at the @empowersafrica event in honor of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (@blackmambaapu) on April 20th will feature a photo series of the planet’s last three Northern White Rhinos by renowned photographer, filmmaker and co-founder of Black Bean Productions (@blackbeanproductions), James Suter (@jamessuter). Proceeds will go to Ol Pejeta Conservancy for rhino anti-poaching efforts – the reserve is home to the world’s three remaining northern white rhinos and 111 critically endangered black rhinos. Ol Pejeta employs highly trained rhino protection teams, partners with international veterinary experts, and continuously gathers data on each animal under their care. COURTESY OF JAMES SUTER. To bid on this print, please join us on April 20, 2017 at The Explorers Club or begin bidding on @Charitybuzz on April 13th at 9am EST to April 27th at 3pm EST. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 917-328-1611. About the print: Najin – The Last Rhino Dimensions: 44’’ X 29’’ Signed print on premium semi matte photographic paper VALUE: USD $2000 USD #community #najin #olpejeta #thelastrhino #empowerment #empowersafrica #conservation #antipoaching #savetherhino #rhino #whiterhino #blackrhino #apu #transfrontierafrica #like #krugernationalpark #saveourwildlife #africa #wildlifeprotection #love #beauty #stopoaching #endextinction #kenya #endangered #nature @jamessuter @olpejeta @sam_thegirl @olicaldow @transfrontierafrica @san_parks @natgeo @blackbeanproductions @unitedforwildlife @careforwild @kriegerhemingway
The ultimate goal is to produce a healthy rhino calf, and eventually reintroduce the species into the wild. Sudan and his female friends currently live in a “semi-wild” environment due to nearby poachers. A white rhino horn is more valuable than gold in Far East markets, and the novelty of Sudan being the last of his kind puts him in constant danger.
Sudan has an important job to do, but he’s up for the challenge. He reassures his millions of Tinder admirers by saying, “I perform well under pressure.”