Northern white rhino extinction- What now?

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Hey.

You probably heard that in recent days the last male northern white rhino died at March 19th, 2018. It’s been reported on the news and many famous people or your friends even shared this sad news on their social media pages so let me too talk about tis very important issue.

Rhino in the photo above was called Sudan and he died of old age at 45 years. Important part of every sentence you read about Sudan is that he was the LAST MALE of his species. There are 2 more female rhinos – Sudan’s daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu. They were all at  Ol pejeta conservancy  in Kenya where they moved from Czech republic Dvur Kralove Zoo – region where I currently live, study and work.

In 1900 there were around 2000-3000 rhinos in the world. Right now we have 2.

How fucked up is that?!

What now?

I would hate to talk to you about the birds and the bees here so I’m just gonna assume you know that for reproduction you need both female and male from the species and currently we have only  females left. I think you see the problem here.

But – many scientist are working on IVF (in vitro fertilization) research. Meaning they plan to breed new northern white rhino from sperm that have been saved from deceased males and northern white rhino female. Unfortunately none of our remaining females can carry a calf so they would need to use surrogate mother of southern white rhino . (source – this article)

Sounds easy let’s do it and save them from extinction.

Problem is that IVF has never been used successfully in rhino conservation and research has a long way to go until it becomes a proven method. I’m quoting here this great article where you can learn many more about northern white rhinos, their path to extinction and more about IVF research.

Ol petaja conservancy created project Sudan where you can send donation to support the IVF research and help to ensure that one day in the future, northern white rhinos will once again roam freely in their natural habitat.

Link to their donation page is HERE

Why do I care?

And why don’t you? I’m just 22 years old and in my short life I don’t remember any species going extinct and being such mediatized topic. It just hits me hard that the whole species of animals could just disappear one day.

I must admit I never before heard of Northern White rhino and probably never would wanted to see them and I never knew about how bad their situation was until it was too late.

I’m just like the child – if you take a toy away  from me that I hardly ever play with anymore, i would suddenly want to play with only that toy. Or when you know a someone who’s interested in you but you never really liked them, but once someone else shows interest in them they’re suddenly everything you want. Or when you don’t get invited to a party you would never gone to anyway.

I would still like to know i have an option. I would like to know there is a chance that I or my potential children and their children could one day see Northern White rhinos too.

Why do I think I would make some impact ?

Well I’d like to think that if you came so far as to this sentence of my article I already took few minutes of your time to read/think about northern white rhinos. And that’s all I’m asking for. Learn, think, donate to IVF research if your current financial situation allows it. If just one of my around 50 000 followers from all around my social medias would donate as well  I would be super pleased with myself.

What if it fails?

To quote savetherhino.org “Advanced Reproductive Techniques might not save, or resurrect, Northern white rhinos but, that said, there are other rhino species which are in peril, and technological advancements could help these species in the future, for example the Sumatran or Javan rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis and Rhinoceros sondaicus), both of which number fewer than 100 individuals and the former of which is precipitously declining”

How could we messed up so badly?

You might think it’s way too late to do something about it now and why no one tried to save them from extinction before. Surely someone must have noticed there were only 3 left.

There were 2 attempts to breed the rhinos but both of them failed because zoos that had the white northern rhinos refused to move them to other location.  The last rhino conservation programme in Garamba National Park effectively closed in 2006, when fighting flared up again due to safety fears and the fact that the rhino population had declined to four, and was no longer a viable population with enough animals from which to breed. (more in this article)

During mass-hunting in colonial area northern white rhino population MASSIVELY decreased. In 30 years from 2000 to 30 !

It’s a major humanity fail.

In conclusion

I’m very angry and you should be too. Let’s hope we learn from northern white rhinos extinctions and prevent from similar extinctions in the future.

Please learn, think, spread information, donate.

Thank you so much for your attention

xo Natalia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by

Natalia 22 Slovak. Read about my passion for fashion, travel and personal experiences.

24 thoughts on “Northern white rhino extinction- What now?

  1. It takes more than IVF. For the species to recover it needs habitat and people not exploiting the animals for profit. In Africa the political turmoil is such that people are struggling for their lives and don’t have the luxury of considering animals. I saw this different attitude visiting a small village in Kenya.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. we choose our battles and God gives us the strength to fight. You chose a noble battle and it is to be admired. It is a sad situation we have our planet in, we kill nature while it is the very thing that sustains us but as long as there is one who speaks up we still have hope. As long as there are good people who fight for the earth we still have hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is indeed a very frightening situation. We are now losing species of plants and animals by dozens every year. This curent crisis is almost entirely caused by us, by our human activities, which creates habitat loss. My hope doesn’t rely only on scientists but in every one of us. We need to make some important changes in the way we consume. Nice Post BTW, Natalia.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know, I wonder how often these things are brought to the attention of the public. The news will report on somebody dying…a sad affair yes, but the loss of species is different. People die all the time, but things can only go extinct once.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My 9 year old son will be sad to hear this. He has a deep interest in wild animals. As a family we try hard to cut down on consumption and be more self reliant. Change must also happen at an individual and personal level in addition to changes in government policies. It is important to develop an outlook of gratitude towards the earth instead of use and abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I long for the day when this is the main headline in the news and not just a footnote. Only then will humanity truly be able to progress when the outrage is felt by everyone. Until habitat is preserved on a large scale it is hard to see that the exponential rate of extinctions in line with the growth of the human population will stop (there are a lot more than you think). It is easy in the west to point fingers at Africa and Brazil too but until we change our consumption habits and start thinking of the environment more widely in everything we do, I doubt anything will really change…which is so incredibly sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heartbreaking. I knew white rhinos faced considerable challenges, but I had no idea the situation is this dire. Too often we rush onward, while ignoring reminders of what brought us here. In some ways this is good, as it brings the progress everyone seeks (we are an aspirational species, after al), but in so doing we also discard the worthy, whether it’s people, animals or things. The white rhino is one such casualty, yet I pray our imagination is sufficient to rectify the situation, someday, somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

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