The world’s northern white rhinoceros population has decreased to 6 after the death of Suni the white rhino on the 17th of October.
Suni lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He was one of only 4 northern white rhinos who lived at the conservancy where they were transferred to, to begin a breeding program. Suni came to Ol Pejeta from Dvůr Králové Zoo where he was the first Northern white rhino ever born in captivity.
Suni was 34 and a northern white rhino is expected to reach 40 years of age when living in the wild. Rangers are unaware of what caused Suni’s death saying it was sudden. They have ruled out poaching as the cause. Vets from the Kenya Wildlife Service will be conducting a post mortem as soon as possible. In 2006 Saut the dad of Suni died of natural causes at Dvur Kralove Zoo.
Suni was one of the last northern white rhinos in captivity with only six left. 2 of them live at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with the rest living at Ol Pejeta. Suni was one of only 2 breeding males left on the planet. Ol Pejeta is hoping the other male will mate with the 2 females at the conservancy and a calf will be born.
This species is believed to be extinct in the wild as the last 4 northern white rhinos left in there have not been sighted in many years.
If the last of the rhinos at the conservancy die out this species will go extinct due to human’s desire for rhino horns for use in medicines. This is also threatening the other 4 remaining rhino species with only 1 species not classed as endangered.
If you want to help with the work of Ol Pejeta in saving the rhino you can donate here- http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/support
Photo Credits: Ol Pejeta Conservancy