By: Raziq K
A dreadful event has occurred in San Diego, California, as the last remaining Northern White Rhino in North America has been euthanized, leaving 3 of these rhino’s remaining in the world of it’s species. Nola, a 41 year old female rhino passed away after being in the San Diego Zoo Safari park since 1989. Her health took a bad turn, as she developed arthritis and other ailments and was being treated for a bacterial infection in her hip as her time expired in the zoo.
According to the zoo in Escondido, California, Nola’s health began to deteriorate a week prior to her surgery on November 13th. Nola’s appetite declined and signs of her being listless were starting to show. Unfortunately, Nola had to be put down after she had a horrible 24 hours of sickness, as she progressively worsened. The zoo in Escondido said it was for the best. This was a loss of such an iconic animal for not only the zoo, but it affected people worldwide.
The main reason the famous Northern White Rhinos have started to decline is due to poachers, who kill only for the horns. The horns are very popular, especially in Asia, where they have been used for medicinal purposes, even for curing some types of cancer. Earlier this month, the San Diego zoo had taken in 6 Southern White Rhino’s from South Africa in order to help preserve the species. Zoo researchers have been working on developing Northern White Rhino embryos to be implanted into the 6 Southern White Rhino’s. They will serve as surrogate mothers, in attempt to bring back the extremely nearly extinct species. As soon as 10-15 years from now, researchers have stated that the rhinos could have a calf born out of a surrogate mother in San Diego.
The 3 remaining Northern White Rhino’s; Najin, Fatu, and Sudan, are in a 24-hour guarded preserve in Kenya. They are all elderly females, as concerns of them have been raised the past years. Another problem is that they are female so they cannot reproduce offspring, so an alternative plan is needed. Hopefully, with the plan the San Diego zoo has for the Northern White Rhino will come through for the species. With any luck, in the next couple decades this rare, precious species will have a stable population, and restore it’s beauty to show the rest of the world.