Northern white rhino dies in US, leaving only three alive

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

And now there are only threeOnly three known northern white rhinoceroses remain alive in the world after on of the animals, Nola, died on Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the US. The park said that Nola, 41, had a bacterial infection, as well as age-related health issues, and that officials made the decision to euthanize her after her condition worsened overnight on Saturday. “We’re absolutely devastated by this loss, but resolved to fight even harder to #EndExtinction,” the park wrote in a Facebook post, adding, “let this be a warning of what is happening to wildlife everywhere.” Frequent civil wars and widespread poaching of rhinos in Africa, driven largely by demand in Asia for ground-up horns as an ingredient in medicine, has caused their numbers to plummet.

Only about 29,000 rhinos remain in the wild today, down from about 500,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, according to the charity Save the Rhino. The two deaths bring the world’s population of northern white rhinos down to three: a male and two females that live under 24-hour armed guard at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. All are older and neither of the females is capable of breeding naturally, the conservancy said, while Sudan’s sperm count is “disappointingly low” due to his age.

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