Another species is about to be extinct in near future – the white rhinoceros.
The last male northern white rhinoceros – Sudan – died of old age on Monday (Mar 19) at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He is survived by the last two female northern white rhinoceros – his daughter Najin and grand daughter Fatu.
This is a warning sign for humans about how the earth is being destroyed by us.
On the sure extinction of white rhions, The New York Times quoted Thomas Hildebrandt of Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research as saying: “This is a creature that didn’t fail in evolution. It’s in this situation because of us.”
Here are 10 facts about northern white rhinoceros that we need to know:
1. Northern white rhinos is a subspecies of the southern white rhinos. They used to be mainly found on the grasslands of east and central Africa.
2. In 1960, there were approximately 2,000 northern white rhinos.
3. Although both black and white rhinoceroses are gray in colour, they can be distinguished by the shape of their lips. The black rhino has a pointed upper lip, while the white rhino’s is a squared one.
4. The white rhinos got their square lips as they were grazers, while black ones pluck leaves and fruits from tree branches leaving them with pointed lips.
5. Female white rhinos reproduce every 2.5 to 5 years. According to National Geographic, their single calf can only survive on its own after it turns 3 years old.
6. Their average lifespan is 45-50 years.
7. The average weight of an adult male white rhinoceros is 2,300 kg, while a female weighs 1,700 kg.
8. The herbivores, though enjoy spending time inside water and playing in mud, drink water only twice a day. In fact, they can even survive 4-5 days without drinking.
9. In December 2009, with support from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the last four breeding individuals (two males and two females) were flown to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in a final attempt to save them from extinction.
10. However, despite several mating attempts, no northern white rhino calf was born. In 2013, one of the male rhinos died of heart attack, leaving Sudan as the sole surviving male. He too passed away on Mar 19, 2018, leaving only two surviving white rhinos, both females, in the world.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.