World’s last male White Rhino protected by armed guards

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In an effort to keep the animal species from becoming extinct, the world’s last male Northern White Rhino, named Sudan, is under the protection of armed rangers in Kenya. The rangers watch over Sudan 24 hours a day.

Wanted for their horns, which are often smuggled into Asia, the rhinos have been all but wiped out by poachers. In 1960, the animal species’ population topped two thousand, but by 1984, there were a mere fifteen White Rhinos. In 2014, only five remained, but in October one died, leaving just four.

Elodie Sampere of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where Sudan currently stays, explained another extreme measure they’ve taken in an effort to protect the species – cutting off his horn.

“The only reason his horn has been cut off is to deter poachers,” Sampere said. “If the rhino has no horn, he is of no interest to poachers. This is purely to keep him safe.”

The horns, which are believed by some to induce erections, go for a hefty $30,000 per pound on the black market.

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[Konbini]