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Last Two Northern White Rhinos Live Under 24-Hour Armed Guard To Protect Against Poachers

Last Two Northern White Rhinos Live Under 24-Hour Armed Guard To Protect Against Poachers

The last two northern white rhinos alive are being protected by armed guards for 24 hours a day, so that poachers can't get to them.

The subspecies is critically endangered, and while they have been in trouble for decades, the last two rhinos are females - meaning naturally there is no way for them to reproduce.

Instead, Najin, 31, and daughter Fatu, 19, will undergo IVF - in the hope that the pair can carry on the species.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Conservationist James Mwenda has taken care of the two creatures at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya, since 2013.

Sudan, a male rhino, died in 2018, aged 45, meaning that the endangered trio became two.

Speaking to My Modern Met, Mwenda said: "That is the hope we have.

"That is what we want to hear-that Sudan and the northern white rhinos are being resurrected.

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"We rely on it so much, and we are waiting, fingers crossed."

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Thomas Hildebrandt of the Liebniz Institute for Zoo & Wildlife Research said that the organisation has been part of a five-year programme.

To help continue the species, the researchers have used sperm taken from male white rhinos - taken before their deaths.

They then carefully took eggs from Najin and Fatu, harvesting two embryos successfully at the lab in Italy.

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Because Najin and Fatu are both unable to carry a pregnancy, southern white rhinos - which there are many more of - could be their surrogates.

Mwenda hopes that sharing the story of the last northern white rhinos, it will protect other subspecies from the same potential fate in the future.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He added: "When people talk about extinction, it looks like a thing that is so far away.

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"But, we're here witnessing it every day; feeling it through these animals, so it's emotionally draining. But, at the end of the day, we are inspired."

He told the news outlet that he thinks the rhinos have a sense of what is going on.

He said: "I can tell that they feel they are the last of their kind. They feel it.

"So, through their personalities, they give us 'lessons' that we can use for future generations."

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He hopes that the film he narrated, Kifaru, which looked at the story of the keepers who cared for Sudan before he died, will help future generations to think more carefully about how animals are treated.

"Extinction isn't only about animals, but it has a lot to do with humans, too."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Animals

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Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]