The last male northern white rhinoceros has passed away. This tragedy poses many questions for the white rhino population as they no longer have a male to grow the population. Hearing this news was devastating to me because of my recent experience with rhinos.
I have always been an animal lover, but when my mom and I took a trip to Kenya my love grew into a passion. I was able to experience a safari in Kenya that gave me a new perspective of just how amazing the wildlife truly is. During the first two nights, we stayed just outside the perimeter of Nairobi National Park where the wildlife can roam in a large area that is protected by guards.
In this enclosure, we were able to see white rhinos. A mother and a baby. This made my sorrow for the recent loss of the last male white northern rhino even greater than just the loss of a species. We were traveling around the park in a safari vehicle on one of the game drives and we happened to spot a white rhino. We were in shock as we knew how endangered they were. We knew that they were in the park, but to accidentally run into not one, but a mother and baby was such an amazing experience.
White rhinos have been endangered for many years and although conservation efforts had been made it wasn’t enough. Sudan, the last male northern white rhino was 45 and passed away from natural causes. This is not the way most rhinos have died, however. Rhinos are targeted for their horns that are made of keratin. These horns differ from those of elephants which are made of ivory. Even so, rhinos are still hunted for the horns that are illegally sold. It seems as though every day there is a new animal in the news that is being threatened by extinction. It is time that we as humans, take initiative and work to save what we have before it is all lost.