The last male white rhino has died

The last male white rhino has died

The last male white rhino has died
April 04
10:00 2018

The last male white rhino has died, marking the inevitable end of the species.

Some would say the world is in shock, but this is not the truth. In a year’s time, the majority of the Earth’s population will forget and continue to diminish our planet’s biodiversity.

The rhino, named Sudan, was euthanized after a severe infection on his leg had grown untreatable and would make him suffer. National Geographic noted he was also suffering from an illness related to age.

He left behind two female white rhinos named Najin and Fatu, both of whom are elderly and live on a conservancy in Kenya. Without a male and an appropriately aged female white rhino, there can be no reproduction and no offspring. These female rhinos are just waiting for the end.

I know many people hear this and don’t think twice about the consequences of such a tragedy. But can you imagine for a moment that an entire species ceases to exist — forever? Gone! Arguably, the worst of it is that we are responsible.

Through systematic habitat degradation, destruction and poaching, we will lose this noble subspecies of rhino, and I’m angry we allowed this to happen.

Humans have such great potential, and we squander it trying to increase our wealth or to obtain other irrelevant achievements. We step on the backs of living beings to reach heights which, when we’re dead and gone, mean nothing.

From a scientific perspective, the consequences are not necessarily tragic. They are dangerous. Our planet has taken a huge hit with the loss of a species. The biodiversity of our planet is irrevocably altered. The current diversity of organisms, like the difference between birds and fish, took billions of years to get to where we are today. And through a series of selfish choices, we are losing species which make our planet special and infinitely unique in a matter of decades.

Evolution is an ugly process which pits an organism’s genotypes and phenotypes against its environment and other organisms. Those organisms with useful accoutrements, or a higher fitness, mate and pass on their stronger DNA to their offspring. However, humans have muddied the natural processes of our earth by slaying living beings to obtain trophies, boost already bursting arrogance and disgracing all life in the process.

I hope that in the years to come, our species will wake up and feel the immense guilt and embarrassment we deserve. With our great potential, we should be stewards of nature, not destroyers. We need to live in harmony with our quadruped-brethren, our insect-friends, our — you get the idea.

To deny respect to other creatures, to any degree, but specifically to a point at which they cease to exist is shameful and greedy. We should know better.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

About Author

Sean Rainey

Sean Rainey

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3 Comments

  1. Banana
    Banana April 05, 14:21

    That was very interesting….. But it was also really sad…. There are know only 2 White Rhino’s left in our world today. If you guys want to go and visit them, the are at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

    Reply to this comment
    • Sean Rainey (Author)
      Sean Rainey (Author) April 10, 12:25

      Hi Banana,

      I totally agree. It’s super sad that we have allowed
      This to happen. I hope that we can learn from this loss and change our behavior globally to prevent further loss of biodiversity. Thank you for your comment.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Reed
    Reed April 23, 12:31

    I recommend that you take a moment to breathe, clear your anger, and then double check your claims before posting articles riddled with misinformation and false claims. Sudan was the last male NORTHERN White Rhino; a subspecies of White Rhinos, yes, but not an “entire species ceasing to exist.” Also not certainly forever since scientists saved his genetic material for future attempts to reintroduce the subspecies, much like they plan to do with passenger pigeons and even woolly mammoths!

    Furthermore, you should really look into African trophy hunting and the impact it has on wildlife populations for numerous species, including endangered ones. If you do so, you might soon learn that trophy hunting is responsible for the greatest resurgence in white rhino populations in modern history. You might also learn that the cause for white rhino populations declining in the first place, beyond the habitat loss created by African residents (not trophy hunters), was unregulated, illegal poaching (also done by Africans). Those poachers harvest rhino horns not for trophies, but to be sold on the black market for medicinal purposes that have been proven false.

    Finally, I suggest you actually speak to a trophy hunter, or any hunter for that matter, to understand why they love to hunt. There is much more to the industry than just killing animals, and you might be surprised to see how much impact hunting has on conservation in many countries. In the future, you should verify all of your claims and at least attempt to balance the inflammatory, unjustified insults in your articles with factual information.

    Reply to this comment

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