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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 May 2018

Al Ain Zoo names baby rhino after Sudan

Al Ain Zoo has given its newborn southern white rhino the name Sudan to honour the world’s last male northern white rhino who died last month in Kenya.

Sudan died at age 45 after a series of age-related illness and infections. His death puts his subspecies on the brink of extinction.

He lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a non-profit reserve in central Kenya. There are just two Northern White Rhinos left on earth, Sudan’s daughter Najin and his granddaughter Fatu. They remain at the conservancy and are in good health.

The conservancy has launched a GoFundME campaign with Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic to save the subspecies with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The "Make-A-Rhino" campaign is seeking Dh46 million for IVF research so that the northern white rhino can once again roam East and Central Africa.

Sudan Junior is the second rhino in the zoo to be named after a famous rhino in a bid to increase environmental awareness.

In early 2017, Al Ain named a female southern white rhino Nola after a female southern white rhino that died in 2015 at San Diego Zoo.

Al Ain Zoo began its southern white rhino breeding programme in 2008. From its original five, the zoo now has 10 male and female rhinos.

In 2013, the zoo signed an agreement with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya to support field studies on elephants, antelopes, lions and rhinos. It is one of several partnerships that gives support for field research, animal management, medical care and a safe environment for animals in their native environments.

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