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Reflections on Sudan’s passing

March 23, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Many around the world are mourning the recent passing of Sudan, a rhinoceros being lovingly cared for at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Sudan was the last male Northern White rhino on the planet. There are only two female Northern White rhinos left: Najin, Sudan's daughter, and Fatu, his granddaughter, both at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

My wife, Bev, and I visited Ol Pejeta in September 2016. We had the privilege and pleasure of meeting Sudan. It's a memory we will treasure forever.

Sudan began his journey in 1973 in his namesake country, Sudan, Africa. At 2 years old he was captured and transported to the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic where he remained in horrid conditions in a small concrete-floor enclosure for 34 years until 2009 when he was transferred to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where he had been well taken care of, and where he had achieved celebrity status. Sudan had described himself as "the most eligible bachelor in the world" on the Tinder dating app.

Sudan, weighing in at nearly two tons, was 45 years old, about 97 in human years, so some would say it was his time to go. But was it time for the entire Northern White rhino subspecies to go? With only two Northern White rhinos left, both female, well, that tells the story, ends the story really, of the Northern White rhino subspecies. It's a story of human neglect, ignorance, arrogance, and greed. It's a story that is sadly being told over and over for creatures big and small who are being exploited, abused, and driven into extinction by humans.

The ultimate irony is that, in showing such little regard for our planet and the once abundant life that it cradles, we humans are destroying what makes life for humans such a blessing. There's still time to reverse course, but I'm concerned that we're now accelerating in the wrong direction. But don't worry, we'll all be gone before Planet Earth dies, at least I'm pretty sure we'll be gone.

Russell Moody

Cape Coral



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