Google on Sunday celebrated Sudan, the last surviving male northern rhino who died two years ago at the age of 45, in a doodle.
The Google Doodle celebrated Sudan through an illustration of an orange field with some trees. Sudan who died in March 2018 at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya is depicted walking through the bushes.
The celebrated rhinoceros died after age-related complications worsened.
The illustration was named; “Remembering Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhino.”
Through a statement, Google said that the white rhinoceros serves as a cherished symbol of ongoing rhino conservation efforts and a stark reminder of the danger of extinction faced by many species.
“Today’s Doodle remembers the last surviving male northern white rhinoceros Sudan who was known as the affectionate ‘gentle giant’,” Google said.
Sudan left his daughter Nanjin and granddaughter Fatu, the two remaining members of the subspecies alive.
Although natural reproduction of a white rhino has been ruled as impossible, Google says there is hope for scientists work to develop vitro fertilization techniques to save the subspecies from the brink of extinction.
“Conservationists hoped that the natural Kenyan environment of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy would encourage breeding among the rhinos, but within several years, Veterinarians came to the conclusion that natural reproduction would most likely not be possible,” Google added.
The Doodle commemorates the anniversary of the day in 2009 when Sudan and three other northern white rhinos arrived at their new home at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Captured in Shambe, Sudan, in 1975, Sudan is believed to be the last northern white rhino born in the wild.
A year later, he was taken to Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), the only zoo in the world where northern white rhinos have successfully given birth. There, Sudan fathered three calves and became the grandfather of one.
The four were transferred back to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in 2009 after the northern white rhino was declared extinct in the wild. Conservationists had hoped that being in their natural Kenyan habitat would encourage breeding among the rhinos, but those efforts were unsuccessful.
Sudan spent the final years of his life with his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu before being euthanized in 2018 at the age of 45.
Despite Sudan’s death, scientists are hoping to harness in vitro fertilization techniques to save the subspecies. But for now, Najin and Fatu are the world’s final two northern white rhinos.