You’re probably saying, ‘did I just read that right?’ Yes, it’s true. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya has taken on a daunting task – halting the complete extinction of a species… the Northern white rhino.
Currently, a pair of females and one male, named Sudan, live at the conservancy, but they are unable to breed naturally for a number of reasons, including Sudan‘s age. He’s a mature 43 years old. So, in a joint-fundraising effort, the conservancy teamed up with Tinder, whose reach extends into 190 countries, If the program succeeds, they hope to utilize in-vitro fertilization and save the Northern white rhino from disappearing… forever.
The joint campaign is called “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World“, and the conservancy hopes to raise $9 million from Tinder users and others, for research into breeding methods, and save the species.
Sudan, whose profile states, “I perform well under pressure,” is looking for love in many places. His bio reads,
“I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of the species literally depends on me.”
States Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy,
“The plight that currently faces the Northern white rhinos is a signal to the impact that humankind is having on many thousands of other species across the planet.”
Even in the face of the complete decimation of this species, and many others, hunting safaris in countries such as South Africa continue to flourish. These hunts may be in the wild, or on ranches held by private owners. This week, a court in South Africa lifted the ban on the sale of rhino horn in the domestic market; the ban on international sales still remains in force.
Recently, a five-year-old white rhino named Vince, living in a French zoo, had his horn hacked off by an intruder and was killed. This lead to other zoos cutting the horns off their rhinos to keep them safe.
Scientists are optimistic that their in-vitro conservation technique will be successful, and have been working on the process for two years. Others believe the death of the species is only a matter of time. To learn more about rhinos, please go to Save The Rhino, or click here. If you’d like to support the campaign to save the species, one of the oldest land mammals in the world, please click here. Because they’re racing against the clock and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Please enjoy the photos of these Southern white
rhinos, courtesy of Save The Rhino, who were brought back from extinction. And check out this episode of Shelter Me, to learn about how dogs are utilized to do lifesaving conservation work in Africa.