Last Male Northern White Rhino Tries Luck On Tinder
The last surviving male of the northern white rhino species is named Sudan and has joined Tinder on April 25 in hopes of becoming "the most eligible bachelor in the world."
This is the title of the public awareness campaign aiming to raise the $9 million necessary for saving northern white rhinos from extinction.
Like any other Tinder user, Sudan is looking for love and has now put his trust in global exposure to make his cause heard and hopefully help his species win the race against time.
Perhaps the most endearing profile ever made on a dating app, Sudan's Tinder account stemmed from eager conservation efforts trying to prevent northern white rhinos from completely dying out.
'Most Eligible Bachelor' Conservation Campaign
According to a Fauna and Flora International (FFI) news release, the campaign to save northern white rhinos was launched by Tinder in partnership with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which houses the male rhinoceros.
— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) April 25, 2017
"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," said Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The ultimate goal of this endeavor is "to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild, which is where their true value will be realized," noted Vigne.
To accomplish this, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is hoping to raise enough money to fund Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) currently researched by a consortium of institutions in the United States, Germany, and Japan.
"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," shows the FFI news release.
The research aims to establish a herd of 10 specimens through a five-year process of IVF and represents conservationists' last resort to save the species, after all previous attempts to breed northern white rhinos failed.
If this feat ends in success, it will constitute a premiere in the artificial reproduction of rhinos. Upon hitting the "Like" button on Sudan's Tinder profile, people will be directed to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy website, where they can make donations to support the northern white rhino cause. Yesterday afternoon, the web page was temporarily down due to the large number of people trying to access it.
Overwhelming traffic has caused our site some issues but you can still donate to #mosteligiblebachelor More here: https://t.co/BbeyvLpSTd pic.twitter.com/nXq8twLDQf — Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) April 25, 2017
"We partnered with Ol Pejeta conservancy to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match," said Matt David, head of Tinder's communications and marketing department, who added that the company is confident that Sudan's profile will be visible on the app in 190 countries and more than 40 languages.
The Last Remaining Male White Rhino On Earth
In his Tinder profile, Sudan is described as "one of a kind" — and that's no exaggeration. He is in fact the last male white rhino on the entire planet.
"I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud," reads Sudan's Tinder profile, mentioning the eligible bachelor is 6 feet tall and weighs 5,000 pounds.
Sudan spends his days at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, protected by armed guards, and enjoying the company of two females of his species, Najin and Fatu.
A series of challenges that include old age have kept these northern white rhinos from breeding naturally. Nevertheless, conservationists are weighing the option of crossing the species with Southern white rhinos. Although a distinct subspecies, they could provide around 17,000 potential female suitors for Sudan.
The death of Suni, the other fertile male of the species in 2014 left Sudan, the only remaining male that can guarantee the proliferation of northern white rhinos. However, time is of the essence and all efforts must be made to ensure the species' survival while the rhino, aged 43, is still alive to fulfill his task.
"To win this run against time it is very crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible," said Steven Seet, spokesperson for the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, which is part of the consortium.
In 1960, there were more than 2,000 northern white rhinos living in the wild, according to World Wide Fund for Nature. By 1984, their numbers were decimated to just 15 due to poaching, since the rhinos' ivory horns were sold for big money in Asia.