Watch: 'World's Most Eligible Bachelor' Rhino is looking for love on Tinder
Kenya conservationists hoping IVF can save Northern White Rhino.
Nairobi: Ol Pejeta Conservancy has partnered with Tinder to launch a new campaign to raise awareness about ‘The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World’ named Sudan. Sudan is the only remaining male northern white rhino in the world.
The goal of this campaign is to raise the $9 million needed to protect the northern white rhino from extinction. When Tinder users ‘swipe right’ on Sudan’s profile, they will be directed to a page from which they can donate towards this cause.
Sudan has a pretty impressive profile – a fine specimen of a rhino, he has his own personal team of armed bodyguards, and has appeared in a string of international documentaries and news stories. Sudan lives his bachelor life at Ol Pejeta Conservancy with his two female northern white rhino counterparts, Najin and Fatu. They have been unable to breed naturally due to a range of issues including old age.
“The plight that currently faces the northern white rhinos is a signal to the impact that humankind is having on many thousands of other species across the planet. Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild which is where their true value will be realized,” said Richard Vigne, CEO, Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Sudan's profile will be seen on Tinder in 190 countries and over 40 languages.
The funds raised will go towards ongoing research into Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) by a consortium of institutions. Once perfected, this technology, in particular in-vitro fertilization (IVF), will aid to achieve successful pregnancies to gradually build up a viable herd of northern white rhinos.
If successful, this will be the first time for scientists to carry out artificial reproduction in rhinos.
“This represents the last option to save the species after all previous breeding attempts proved futile,” said Vigne.
The research, which is currently ongoing in the United States, Germany and Japan aims to establish a herd of 10 northern white rhinos after five years using in-vitro fertilization.
“Financial support remains the biggest challenge to this project. At 43 years, Sudan does not have much longer to live. To win this run against time it is very crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible”, said Steven Seet, Head of Press and Communications at the Leibniz-IZW who are part of the research consortium.
Ethiopia in 2011 launched construction of the GERD on the Blue Nile, roughly 30 km from the border with Sudan.
Rhinoceroses have very few natural predators but their numbers have been decimated by poaching since the 1970s.