And Then There Were Six… The Death of Suni the Northern White Rhino

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Thirty-four years after being the first white rhino born in captivity, Suni — one of seven known individuals in his species — has died of natural causes at his home in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This is indeed sad news, and could mean the end of the species — there is only one remaining mature northern white rhino male.

However, a spokesperson for Ol Pejeta has stated, “We will continue to do what we can to work with the remaining three animals on Ol Pejeta in the hope that our efforts will one day result in the successful birth of a northern white rhino calf.”

Learn more about Ol Pejeta’s original four white rhinos in the conservancy’s short documentary.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, three of the remaining six Northern white rhinos have passed away to undisclosed causes. The remaining three white rhinos are under heavy surveillance and protected by guards 24/7. The future looks bleak for the Northern white rhino — the two females (mother-daughter pair) are unable to bear young. Only time will tell what will happen to these beautiful creatures.

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.