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Published in the Northglen News on Friday 30 March 2018

The world’s last surviving male northern white rhino

Umhlanga resident and conservationist, Carla Geyser, has expressed her sadness at the death of Sudan, the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino. The rhino died after months of poor health, his carers said in a statement. Geyser is the founder of the Blue Sky Society Trust, an NPO working to preserve and improve life for people, animals, and communities in need. Sudan, who was 45 when he died, was suffering from a string of infections in his advanced age.

His death comes as rhino populations around the world teeter on the brink of extinction, largely due to poaching. According to reports, only two now remain – his daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, Fatu. Sudan was brought to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009. Geyser, who met Sudan during the Elephant Ignite Expedition in 2016 said meeting Sudan was an unexpected honour for both her and the team.

Shock and sadness at the death of Sudan

“It was a bittersweet experience, as we all felt completely embarrassed and disappointed in the human race that we had done this to him. I cannot describe that feeling to you in words, when you are there staring extinction in the eyes, listening to his heavy breath which is now no longer. It`s a very emotional and helpless feeling. It was also a wake-up call for us. If we don’t act now this is what could happen to our southern white rhino, our elephant, our pangolin, our lions and the list goes on. Extinction is forever.”

Save these species from extinction

“I firmly believe that each and every one of us has the power to make a difference. I try to do my part by leading humanitarian and conservation expeditions in and around Africa. You may be involved in education or online media. Together we are stronger and we need to work hand in hand and come up with solutions to try and solve this open festering wound that we have created. We still have so much worth fighting for.”