The last male northern white rhino on earth has joined the dating app Tinder – as part of fundraising efforts by conservationists to save the species.
A very innovative fundraising and awareness partnership has occurred betwen OL Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and Tinder. Sudan is on Tinder. At 43 (or 100 in rhino years), Sudan is described as “one of a kind”, who likes to eat grass and chill in the mud. Attempts to mate the animal – who lives in Kenya – with only two surviving females have failed. Conservationists say they need to raise $10m (£7.8m) to develop in vitro fertilisation (IVF) methods for rhinos.
“It’s never ever has been done in rhinos before,” Richard Vigne, head of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, told the BBC.
“This is a 10-year programme to recover that species. “We’ll hopefully keep him alive as long as we can – but we are in a race against time if we are going to recover this species.”
On Tinder, Sudan’s profile reads: “I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of my species literally depends on me. “I perform well under pressure… 6ft (183cm) tall and 5,000lb (2,268kg) if it matters.”
In a joint campaign launched by Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Tinder, app users now have an option to donate when they open Sudan’s profile.
Scientists in several countries are currently testing how to use IVF techniques on the two northern white rhino females.
They also do not rule out using Sudan’s sperm for IVF with southern white rhinos – although they are a distinct species. Still the crossing option would be better than extinction, they say.
Sudan – who is often described as “the most eligible bachelor in the world” – has his own team of armed bodyguards, who are protecting him around the clock.
Countless TV shows have been made about the ageing animal.
Northern whites are the only rhinos that can survive in the wild in central Africa.
But they have been hunted into near extinction by poachers who target their horns.
The full article can be found on the BBC news website below:-