Ladies and gentlemen of planet Earth,
This is the world's last surviving male northern white rhino.
|Armed rangers guard him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.|
This 43 year old northern white rhino, who has been named Sudan, is the last male of his species. And he is now under 24 hour guard by armed rangers who follow him everywhere in the animal sanctuary.
His species has been hunted down to near-extinction by poachers because they believe the horns carry medicinal properties.
|You can see that Sudan's horns have been filed down on purpose here, which makes him less of a valuable target to poachers.|
These poachers believe rhino horns are ivory, which can fetch nearly £50,000 ($74,000 USD). However, rhino horn is actually made from keratin, not ivory, the same protein that human fingernails are made of. Despite trying to educate the poachers about this, they still continue to hunt these majestic creatures for their ... "ivory".
If these poachers and the gullible people who buy the horns believe keratin has medicinal properties (which, by the way, doesn't), all they have to do is bite their own nails.
He is the last chance of any possibility for the survival of his species. He is 43 years old and these species live until the average age of 50. He has seven years to save his species.
|Everywhere Sudan the northern white rhino goes, his armed rangers follow.|
The rangers, who operate in all kinds of temperatures and weather conditions in shifts around the clock, risk their lives to protect this creature on a daily basis. They have been attacked by poachers, shot at by mercenaries hired by poachers and so on, just for one chance to get to the world's last male northern white rhino. But these rangers know that the future of the species are at stake, so they proudly stand their ground, absorb the hail of poacher's bullets with the kind of military precision you see in special forces and make sure the rhino gets away unscathed.
However, this operation is not cheap.
It costs £75,000 to operate and supply a team of 40 armed rangers for six months. The kind of money a wildlife sanctuary does not have.
That is why I am asking everyone who reads the blog post to visit the sanctuary's GoFundMe page and contribute whatever you can to the survival of the world's last male northern white rhino.
Maybe now is the time to harvest the rhino's DNA?
We have successfully cloned many animals in science experiments, so why not clone the last surviving male northern rhino?
Of course, the species will never be "original" again, as nature intended them to be. But then again, nature never intended them to be shot at by greedy humans either.
Humans made this mistake. It's up to humans to fix it.
And then what? Let them get hunted to extinction again?
Farm their horns legally OR alter their genetics.
With the population high once again thanks to the science of cloning, we have two choices.
1) We can farm their horns. Let them grow and then cut them off while the animal is sedated. No harm done to the rhino. It keeps the rhino, the sanctuary and the demand for animal horn all satisfied.
2) Or we can "play god". That is alter their genetics so that the horns are either worthless and weak or so that they don't grow any in the first place.
Personally, I am extremely cautious about giving man too much power over genetics. It won't be too long after doing so that man will attempt to create life from scratch and truly play god. I am not religious and I don't believe in a god, I believe that god is the creation of man, and that one day man will go too far with that creation and call himself god. I think the first option would be the better option.
All images in this post are copyrighted to Caters News Agency or Ol Pejeta animal sanctuary.