Sudan Rhino_640x400
Sudan Rhino Armed guards watch over Sudan, one of four northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. © Ami Vitale

Stories in Africa

Condolences for Sudan

The World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Has Passed

I am sorry to learn that Sudan — the world's last male northern white rhino — died on Monday, March 19, and I offer my condolences on behalf of the entire Nature Conservancy family. Sudan arrived with three other northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009, and I would like to applaud the work that they both have done to try and sustain the heritage of the northern white rhino in Africa.

The loss of Sudan is a sobering reminder that we need to continue to protect the habitat these species need for their survival. It is sad to watch the northern white rhino disappear forever.

TNC first began working in Africa with a project to secure habitat for rhino at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. Today, TNC also works with Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia to protect the largest free-ranging population of black rhino in the world.

While we are not strictly a rhino conservation organization, we are focused on securing and maintaining functioning and intact ecosystems that are large enough to support Africa’s most iconic species — such as rhino and elephants — which require large home ranges for their survival.

There is time to avoid the next extinction — lions are facing dire straits — and one of the key strategies here is landscape-scale conservation that is led by communities. We are working to ensure that communities see tangible benefits from keeping wildlife safe and from protecting grazing land for both wildlife and their own livestock.

While we are terribly saddened by the loss of Sudan, we are inspired to continue the fight and know that urgency is upon us to increase our efforts as best possible in the most important places in Africa.