World’s last male northern white rhino gets armed bodyguards, 24-hour protection

A one-of-a-kind rhino now has one-of-a-kind protection.

A special team of four armed guards are watching Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, around the clock at the Kenyan game conservancy where he lives.

The 42-year-old critically endangered creature is one of five remaining northern white rhinos. Two females live with him at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy and another two females live in captivity elsewhere, one at the San Diego Zoo and one at the Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czech Republic.

Attempts to breed Sudan with his conservancymates have been unsuccessful.

The rhino rangers protecting Sudan are specifically trained to fight off poachers, even though his caretakers already removed his horn, making him less desirable to hunters, the Dodo reported.

The guards use high tech equipment, such as night vision goggles and GPS tracking, to watch Sudan’s every move 24 hours a day, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy wrote on a GoFundMe page supporting the rangers. The rangers also have a team of dogs helping them keep tabs on Sudan.

The northern white rhino is one of two subspecies of the white rhinoceros. The southern white rhino was considered extinct in the 19th century, but after scientists found a small heard in South Africa in 1895, they were able to bring the species back. Today, there are about 20,000 southern white rhinos living in southern Africa, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.


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