One of the last seven northern white rhinos left in the world died last Friday night at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, The Independent reported.
Suni, who was 34-years old and one of only two breeding males, was not killed/poached, but the cause of his death has still not been determined. An autopsy is scheduled for sometime this week by doctors at the Kenya Wildlife Service.
“Consequently, the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race,” the Conservancy said in a statement.
The rhinos were pushed to extinction because of the high value of their horn, which was “valued higher than platinum in Asia last year,” reported The Independent.
Suni was the first of his species to be born in captivity, and was transferred to Kenya in 2009 in the hopes that he would breed with the few remaining females. He was one of just four rhinos living at the Conservancy.
“We will continue to do what we can to work with the remaining three animals on Ol Pejeta in the hope that our efforts will one day result in the successful birth of a northern white rhino calf,” the Conservancy said.
The northern white rhino is one of many species that is currently on the way to being poached to extinction. The southern white rhino, for example, has seen its numbers dwindle to about 20,000, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Until countries on all continents take real and severe action against those poaching and purchasing items such as rhino horn, it’s likely that the northern white rhino will be just another species we watch die out during our lifetimes.