Massive online support pours in for protecting the world’s last white rhino
In 1960, there were over 2,000 northern white rhinos roaming the Earth. In 1984, there were just 15. Today there are only five, including just one male, and he’s under around-the-clock armed surveillance to protect him from poachers.
The 42-year-old rhino, named Sudan, is guarded all day and night by a team of armed rangers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya. The conservancy houses three of the last five remaining northern white rhinos, but Sudan, being the only male, must be defended in order to save the species from extinction.
Two female northern white rhinos remain with Sudan at the conservancy with two more females in captivity, but all attempts to breed Sudan have been unsuccessful.
His ivory horn has also been removed to deter the advances of ruthless poachers, who have wiped out Sudan’s ancestors and sold their horns for big money in Asia, where the ivory is believed to be a cure for several ailments.
Elodie Sampere of the conservancy said: ‘The only reason his horn has been cut off is to deter poachers.
‘If the rhino has no horn, he is of no interest to them. This is purely to keep him safe.’
The photos show the armed “Rhino Rangers” standing guard around a rhino in the Ol Pejeta wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. The images were captured several months ago, but recently went viral on Twitter, touching off a surge in donations to the Rhino Rangers’ GoFundMe campaign. A post on the GoFundMe page early Tuesday says more than $4,600 has been donated since Sunday.
“We’re blown away by all your donations and messages of support!” the post said.