A shocking image has been posted on Twitter, showing the world's last male northern white rhino. Sudan is the only remaining male of his species, and is one of just three northern white rhinos still alive. The photo comes months after Sudan appeared as an ad on dating site Tinder, in the hopes of raising vital funds towards breeding methods for the species.
The image was posted on Twitter by Daniel Schneider, a biologist from Boston. Mr Schneider wrote: 'Want to know what extinction looks like? This is the last male Northern White Rhino. The last. Nevermore.' His tweet has received almost 36,000 retweets, and over 1,000 replies. Steve Marie replied: 'Many don't stop 2 realize tht as more species go extinct, the interdependence of species on this Earth is affected and humans' demise is coming.'
And MB Donner said: 'Breaking my heart. 'Humans are the most ruthless animals on Earth.'
In April, Ol Pejeta Conservancy posted an advert of Sudan on Tinder in the hopes of raising awareness about the near-extinction of the species. Richard Vigne, the conservancy's chief executive officer, said: 'This represents the last option to save the species after all previous breeding attempts proved futile.' Sudan's profile told a bit of background information about the rhino, explaining that he's the last male white rhino on Earth.
And, when users swiped right and 'Matched' with the animal, they were directed toward a page where they could make a donation. 'I don't mean to be too forward, but the fate of the species literally depends on me,' the Tinder profile says. 'I perform well under pressure.' The 43-year-old and his last two female companions are unable to breed naturally because of issues that include old age.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the app aim to raise £6.8 million ($9 million) for research into breeding methods, including in-vitro fertilization, in an effort to save the species from extinction. 'We partnered with Ol Pejeta conservancy to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match,' said Matt David, head of communications and marketing at Tinder.
'We are optimistic given Sudan's profile will be seen on Tinder in 190 countries and over 40 languages.' Sudan lives at the conservancy, protected by guards around the clock, with the two females, Najin and Fatu. 'The plight that currently faces the northern white rhinos is a signal to the impact that humankind is having on many thousands of other species across the planet,' said Vigne.
'Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild, which is where their true value will be realized.'