Your cart is empty

Keep up to date with the latest news and articles directly from the STS team

Help us to create #hopefromhurt

Category: Northern White Rhino

Remembering Sudan, The Last Male Northern White Rhino

On March 19th 2018, a Rhino named Sudan passed away at the age of 45 years of age. 

His death saw the conservation world and the wildlife community mourn. March 19th 2018 was a dark day for many. While Rhinos can live up to 60 in captivity, their life expectancy in the wild is in their 40s – Sudan had lived to a relatively good age.

So why was Sudan’s death such a global tragedy?

The reason why is because the death of Sudan declared his species, the Northern White Rhino, functionally extinct. 

Sudan was the last male northern white Rhino and is survived by only two females, both past breeding age and unable to keep the species alive. In 2020, we now live with the fact that, despite many warnings, mankind has contributed to the fact that we have seen another species of animal die out on our watch and by our hands. 

How many Northern White Rhino are left?

In 1965, there were only an estimated 2000 Northern White Rhinos sharing the planet with us. We were warned about what could happen if we did not act. But sadly, by 1975, poaching increased due to increased demand for their horns. This left us with less than 500 Northern White Rhinos. Now, in 2020, just two females remain on earth with us. The warnings that were issued back in the 60s are now reality – the Northern White Rhino is functionally extinct. 

Sudans story…

Sudan was born in the wild in 1973 and taken into captivity at the age of two. While living in a zoo, Sudan fathered two daughters, Najin and Fatu. In 2009, Sudan and his family returned to Africa and was cared for at  Ol Pejeta Conservancy until his death in 2018.

Under 24-hour guard, he was able to roam a 700-acre enclosure and enjoy his freedom amongst other Rhinos. Speaking to The Guardian after Sudan’s death, Zacharia Mutai, The head keeper at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, remembered his gentle nature;

“Rhinos have a good sense of hearing and smell, and they would come towards us when we called. Caress his ears, and Sudan relaxed. If he needed medical attention, we didn’t have to sedate him; we could just stroke the tips of his ears.”

While the world mourned his passing in March 2018, and what it meant, many still have hope for the Northern White Rhino. Prior to his death, semen was collected from Sudan (and other males) and scientists plan to harvest eggs from the two remaining females. However, this would be a world first – IVF to save Rhinos has never been done before. While we can keep an optimistic mind, as it stands, the Northern White Rhino is now functionally extinct. 

Please consider donating today so we can protect Africa’s vulnerable wildlife.


Related Work

The impact of poaching on Private Wildlife Custodians

Saving The Survivors are committed to supporting Private Wildlife Custodians. The situation in Private Wildlife Custodians Due to countless decades of poaching of Rhino in National Parks, over half the world’s Rhino are now under the protection of private custodians who are struggling to meet the cost of protecting this endangered and heavily targeted species. … Continued


2 month progress report on baby Giraffe

Remember the young Giraffe that was suffering with ruptured ligaments? The calf has had a cast on her leg for a total of 2 months now and Dr. Johan returned this week to remove it for good. The baby has healed amazingly and as you can see in the video has now returned to live … Continued

Related Work

Supporting the hero rangers who protect our wildlife

As the year comes to end, it is time to give thanks. At our STS South Africa base, the team decided to thank those who truly deserve it.  The team put together some bush orientated first aid kits for several of the rangers protecting our wildlife and putting their lives on the line. STS would … Continued


Update on injured baby Giraffe

Happy Holidays! Today is Boxing Day, in some cultures this is a day for giving. For donating to those less fortunate or in need. Please could you help save the survivors and create hope from hurt? We recently reported on a baby Giraffe that was suffering with ruptured ligaments, Dr. Johan treated this animal a … Continued

Related Work

The art of immobilisation

How do STS immobilise wild animals? Immobilising large wildlife such as Rhino is an essential procedure in our toolkit to keep these species safe. Whether we need to treat an injured animal or a more proactive anti-poaching procedure like collaring, the decision to immobilise such a large patient is never taken lightly. When we humans … Continued


Dr. Johan operates on two Big Cats!

Reintroduced Lion populations pose several ecological and management challenges in smaller, fenced wildlife reserves. Changes in the natural social and ecological conditions of reintroduced Lions may lead to rapid reproduction and a breakdown of natural predator-prey relationships. To avoid culling of animals, STS was recently requested to perform one-sided hysterectomies on two female Lions that … Continued

Southern White Rhino

Update on our little boy Kwayera

Update on Kwayera: Remember the baby orphan we rescued when he was found wandering the bush alone? For the first few days he was cared for 24/7 by our Veterinary Assistant and Baby Rhino Specialist “Dot”. This most certainly saved his life, before we could arrange for Dr. Johan to fly him to The Rhino Orphanage where … Continued


Injured three week old Giraffe needs our help!

We were contacted by Dr. Ryan to assist with this 3 week old Giraffe that is knuckling over on his right front fetlock joint. This is a condition we see in young foals as well, when either the extensor tendon ruptures, or some of the collateral ligaments of the joint get injured. Dr. Ryan expertly … Continued


Dr. Johan translocates 2 awesome Lions!

A coalition of two magnificent male Lions were recently relocated to another reserve. The reason for this move was twofold: Firstly, many reserves have an overpopulation of Lion and the relocation assists other reserves to bring in different genetics to its own Lion population. In a perfect world there would be no fences and Lions … Continued

Southern White Rhino

“Ear piercing” a Rhino!

Notching is becoming a huge part in Rhino conservation. As a result, nearly all Rhinos in South Africa are “notched”. Notching is a way of identifying each individual animal.   Veterinarians do this by removing a small triangle or circle of skin from the Rhino’s ear. The veterinarians do not waste this skin, they use … Continued

Southern White Rhino

Saving The Survivors treat yet another poaching victim

This week Saving The Survivors got the call of yet another poaching incident. Luckily, the Southern White Rhino Bull managed to escape with his life, although he did sustain some nasty injuries. The adult Southern White Rhino Bull was shot and initially he was slightly lame on his right frontlimb. As the days progressed, the … Continued

Black Rhino

Update on our Black Rhino orphan

UPDATE : On the Black Rhino orphan calf who’s mother died unexpectedly in a reserve and he was left to fend for himself.   After relocating him to the Rhino orphanage the little Rhino began to take a turn in his health and became weak and wouldn’t eat. Everyone on site was extremely worried about … Continued