Like many guys using the Tinder dating app, Sudan loves the outdoors and travels widely. The catch: he’s the world’s last male white northern rhino and desperately needs to mate.
“I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of my species literally depends on me,” reads his profile. “I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. No problems. 6 ft tall and 5,000 pounds if it matters.”
Ol Pejeta Conservancy has partnered with Tinder, the world’s leading social app for meeting new people, 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 (www.olpejetaconservancy.org/most-eligible-bachelor/) from which they can donate towards this cause.
Sudan is not only The Most Eligible Bachelor, but he also boasts a pretty impressive profile. Not only is he a pretty fine specimen of a rhino, but 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. However, there are 17,000 other potential female southern white rhino suitors.
Conservationists are hoping that Sudan’s Tinder profile will help them raise enough money for $9-million fertility treatment as all attempts at getting him to mate naturally have failed. Scientists would use Sudan’s sperm to fertilise an egg from one of the two last northern white rhino females: 17-year-old Satu or 27-year-old Najin. The embryo will be implanted in a surrogate southern white rhino, a far more common species.
“We tried everything to get them to mate naturally,” said Elodie Sampere, the marketing manager at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta conservancy, where all three white rhinos are accompanied by 24-hour armed guards.”When he first tried to mount the girl, the rangers guided him … but it is difficult with a rhino,” she said.”We removed them from a zoo environment, which was not conducive to natural instincts, and put them in a semi-wild environment. There were a couple of matings, but it never resulted in a pregnancy.”
Poachers sell northern white rhinos horns for $50,000 per kilo, making them more valuable than gold or cocaine, and his keepers fear that Sudan, who at 43 is ancient for a rhino, may die or be killed before they can raise enough money.
“There’s always that fear. He’s old, he might die soon,” said rhino expert Richard Vigne, the CEO of Ol Pejeta. “As long as the demand for rhino horn in the Far East persists, there will always be an ever-present threat.”