Sudan, the last male northern white rhino in the world was responding to treatment for an infection, Reuters reported on Wednesday (March 7). The bit of good news has his handler rethinking possible euthanasia, something he was considering if Sudan’s pain got too severe.
Sudan lives with two females in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, part of Kenya’s Laikipia National Park. The northern white rhinocerous, a subspecies that is smaller than the southern white rhino, used to number in the thousands but their numbers have shrunk, partially due to poaching. These three rhinos, under constant protection by armed guards, are all that remain. Southern white rhinos, still number at more than 20,000 according to the World Wildlife Fund.
While Sudan’s health has rebounded, he is 45 years old, near end of life expectancy for the species. Researchers are currently investigating in vitro fertilization to further the species.