(Bloomberg) -- The world’s last male northern white rhino died, leaving only two females of the species left on the planet.
Sudan, as the 45-year-old mammal was known, was euthanized on Monday after suffering a series of infections, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
Sudan’s genetic material was collected with the hope of future reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies, it said.
The global rhino population has been decimated by poaching. A total of 1,028 of the animals were slaughtered for their horns in South Africa last year. China and Vietnam are among the nations that have fueled demand for the horn, due to the false belief that they can cure diseases including cancer and even ease a hangover.
“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn,” Peter Knights, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based environmental organization WildAid, said in the statement. “While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species.”
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