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The white rhino is particularly vulnerable to hunting, because it is a large and relatively unaggressive animal and generally occurs in herds.
Historically the major factor in the decline of white rhinos was uncontrolled hunting in the colonial era, but now poaching for their horn is the primary threat. The white rhino is particularly vulnerable to hunting, because it is a large and relatively unaggressive animal and generally occurs in herds.
Adult white rhinos have no natural predators (other than humans) due to their size, and even young rhinos are rarely attacked or preyed on due to the mother's presence and their tough skin. One exceptional successful attack was perpetrated by a lion pride on a roughly half-grown white rhinoceros, which weighed 1,055 kg (2,326 lb), and occurred in Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where it is ground into a fine powder or manufactured into tablets to be used as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds, strokes, convulsions, and fevers. Due to this demand, several highly organized and very profitable international poaching syndicates came into being and would carry out their poaching missions with advanced technologies ranging from night vision scopes, silenced weapons, darting equipment and even helicopters. The ongoing civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and incursions by poachers primarily coming from Sudan have further disrupted efforts to protect the few remaining northern rhinos.
recent research has suggested the northern white rhinoceros may be an altogether different species, rather than a subspecies of white rhinoceros, in which case the correct scientific name for the former is Ceratotherium cottoni. Distinct morphological and genetic differences suggest the two proposed species have been separated for at least a million years
Rhinos are one of the few megaherbivores—plant-eaters that weigh more than 2,000 pounds—that still live in the world. Most others have long gone extinct, many of which were victims to human hunting and expansion. Rhinos' continued existence, however, is questionable. Poachers killed nearly 1,000 rhinos in South Africa alone last year—an almost 50 percent increase from 2012—so as things now stand, rhinos may very likely go the way of so many other species before them.
If the rhinos do disappear from Africa, the authors warn, the savannah will likely become a distinctly different place—in addition to an emptier one.[ex]
The Southern Rhino may not be far behind...
From the Red List
There are only a few left in the wild...
Rhino Resource Center
WWFedit on 22-11-2015 by TNMockingbird because: nvm
While the black rhinoceros has 84 chromosomes (diploid number, 2N, per cell), all other rhinoceros species have 82 chromosomes. However, chromosomal polymorphism might lead to varying chromosome counts. For instance, in a study there were three northern white rhinoceroses with 81 chromosomes.
There are two subspecies of white rhinoceros: the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) and the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni). As of 2013, the southern subspecies has a wild population of 20,405 – making them the most abundant rhino subspecies in the world. However, the northern subspecies was critically endangered, with as few as four individuals in the wild; the possibility of complete extinction in the wild having been noted since June 2008. Five are known to be held in captivity, one of which resides at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Four born in a zoo in the Czech Republic were transferred to a wildlife refuge in Kenya in December 2009, in an effort to have the animals reproduce and save the subspecies.
Three families, sometimes grouped together as the superfamily Rhinocerotoidea, evolved in the late Eocene, namely the Hyracodontidae, Amynodontidae and Rhinocerotidae.
The world's last surviving male northern white rhino has died after months of poor health, his carers say.
Sudan, who was 45, lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He was put to sleep on Monday after age-related complications worsened significantly.
His death leaves only two females - his daughter and granddaughter - of the subspecies alive in the world.
All I can ask you is your blessing buddy, that blessing means everything to me, old as you were I celebrate your live [sic] well lived.
James Mwenda, conservationist and Sudan caregiver, Facebook
A southern white rhino has become pregnant through artificial insemination at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park—giving hope for efforts to save a subspecies of one of the world's most recognizable animals, researchers announced Thursday.
Victoria is the first of six female southern white rhinos the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is testing to determine if they are fit to be surrogate mothers before using the limited sperm and eggs of the northern white rhino that are in storage to impregnate them.
The scientists want to use the frozen sperm and eggs that were taken from dead northern white rhinos to bring back a herd through artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.
Good bye Sudan,I don't need to say it here that I loved you.you know it well from all the talks and the moments we had together,being with you for the last few years completely changed me,and as you taught me daily I continued to teach and inspire my fellow humans to be conscious and sensitive of our environment.i promised to be your voice(I ain't sure whether I duly and diligently fulfilled that) but I did my best. When I look back,In my years of caretaking you,my sadness and the essence of losing you is overcome by a contentment that I gave you all the best.Sudan I don't regret anything as deep within my heart I gave you everything. What I regret most,is whether my fellow humanity has learned from your existence.i tried as much to help them hear you through my thoughts and the lessons I learned through our personal day to day life,though still my voice has been small,I have testimonies that you have left an imprint in the hearts of many especially those I interacted with. If I was powerful in the face of earth and conservation world 19/04/18 would be "Sudan,the legend day" a day when parents should take their kids out and teach them how and why we need to embrace the environment.a day where a pic of Sudan could be presented in classroom and have the kids draw Him,so that they are conscious of extinction and how Sudan's existence meant.a day what we could ask those we know what they knew about the environment. I never expected to hear a thank you from you,no rewards,no clapping for congratulations,no job well done words,and no praise for it.sometimes the commitment,sacrifice and love of an animal can only be know by the animal,God and the caretaker only.catalyzed by the bond they share and the affection All I can ask you is your blessing buddy,that blessing means everything to me,old as you were I celebrate your live well lived. On the other side of life.greet Lola,Saut,Nasima,Nabire and the rest of the rhinos,tell them that some humans still upholds the madness that rhino horn is a cure.but their are others that still are fighting for your future. The big question is what does Sudan's existence and His death mean to you? Let us all purpose to learn. I will try my best to honor all that we talked about and live for what you have taught me R.I.P Sudan
There are two sub-species of white rhinos in Africa - the near-extinct northern white rhino and the more prevalent southern white rhino.
However, these insemination attempts failed.
So they moved on to trying to make an embryo - an egg fertilised by sperm - in the lab.
That created another challenge: getting hold of the egg.
With the rarer northern white rhino sperm and eggs he was confident he knew what would work.
He made two embryos with the first delivery of eggs in August 2019 and one more embryo with the second delivery four months later.
They are currently being preserved in his lab.
To grow, these embryos need a womb - but neither Fatu's nor Najin's are suitable.
< not really anyway...
"Conservation cannot be built and maintained only on tourism income or donor funding," he said. "Covid-19 is teaching us that we take nature for granted, together with clean water and air, and it seems we need to lose something before we realize its value. Nature cannot be recreated once it is gone."