The last of his kind, named Sudan, is under constant protection in Kenya.
With the very species on the verge of extinction, a single male White Rhino remains alive in a conservatory in Kenya. The goal is to mate him with some of the females that are alive and well, but they must protect him from poachers. At least four men, armed with guns, surround the rhino at all times in order to keep him safe, according to CNN.
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The Ol Pejeta Conservancy has a lot of pressure on them to continue the species. They need to keep Sudan healthy and comfortable enough so that he can reproduce.
Poachers killed over 1,000 white rhinos in 2014, due to the fact that their horns are considered medicinal by some cultures. The animals also having tracking markers and video surveillance to keep them safe.
There are other things working against Sudan, he is elderly (42) for a rhino, and there may be little hope. The female rhinos are 15 and 25, and could help to bring the species back. "Sudan is currently old and may not be able to naturally mount and mate with a female," the doctors say. He also has a low sperm count, which complicates things as well.
Scientists are working to come up with plans to keep the species alive, even if it means changing the bloodline. Sudan and the females are actually Northern White Rhinos, meaning they could mate with the similar Southern White Rhinos. "In other countries, success has been achieved with embryo transfer in a different rhino species, thus that, as a technique, can be presupposed to be the most promising," scientists say. "However, consultations are ongoing amongst different reproductive technique experts on the way forward."
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