The world’s last male northern white rhino, Sudan, has died after “age-related complications” in Kenya, conservationists looking after his care have announced.
A statement from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where Sudan lived said the 45-year-old rhino, who was suffering from muscle and bone deterioration and extensive skin wounds, was euthanised on Monday after his condition “worsened significantly”, leaving him unable to stand.
The rhino had spent two weeks in late February and early March lying in his pen due to discomfort from a deep wound on his right hind leg.
He had been part of an ambitious effort to save the subspecies from extinction with the help of its two surviving females, 27-year-old Najin and 17-year-old Fatu.
After all attempts at getting him to mate naturally failed, conservationists last year put Sudan on dating app Tinder, hoping to raise enough money to pay for a $9m (£6.4m) fertility treatment.
Sudan had previously lived at the Dver Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic before being transported to Ol Pejeta where he lived with the last two females of his species.
“He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity,” said the conservancy’s CEO Richard Vigne.
Sudan was something of a celebrity in his lifetime and attracted thousands of visitors to Dver Kralove and Ol Peteja.