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Animal Database
Northern White Rhinoceros
Northern White Rhinoceros Angalifu
Angalifu, a male northern white rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Angalifu died 14 December 2014
Information
Common Name Northern Square-lipped Rhinoceros
Range formerly found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Perisodactyla
Family Rhinocerotidae
Genus Ceratotherium
Species Ceratotherium simum
Ceratotherium simum cottoni
Conservation Status
CRSpecies
Critically Endangered

The Northern white rhinoceros or northern square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), is one of the two subspecies of the white rhinoceros. Formerly found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara, it is considered Critically endangered or Extinct in the Wild. This subspecies is a grazer in grasslands and savanna woodlands. As of December 2014, there are only five rhinos of this subspecies left. They all belong to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic.

As of 2017, only 3 rhinos remain in the world, all of which are kept in captivity in Kenya. One male, Sudan, and two females, Fatu and Najin. Experts and scientists as well as researchers are trying to find ways for this breed to mate again but all have been unsuccessful at the moment due to Sudan aging. The last option is to take Sudan's sperm and the female's eggs to produce offspring which researchers are trying to do. But as of now, these rhinos are guarded 24/7 by armed guards to prevent poaching to the last few northern white rhinos on the planet.

However, unfortunately, on March 19, 2018, the last male rhino on the planet, "Sudan" died putting the sub-species in great danger of surviving. Sudan has gone through many injuries, infections and has dramatically aged as is 45 in rhino years and 90 years in human years so his death wasn't unexpected. Scientists are doing everything they can to save the species without the presence of Sudan before they completely disappear forever.

After 2000, six northern white rhinoceros had lived in the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic but four of them (which were also the only reproductive animals of this subspecies) were transported to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Africa. In 2008, was the last sighting of the Northern white rhino that was seen in the wild. In 2009, where scientists hoped they would successfully breed and save this subspecies from extinction; one of the four died in October 2014. One of the two remaining in the Dvůr Králové Zoo died in late May 2011, making Nabire the only rhino there. Another rhino presently lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California. A second rhino, Angalifu, also lived at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park and died in December 2014.

Following the phylogenetic species concept, recent research has suggested the northern white rhinoceros may be an altogether different species, rather than a subspecies of white rhinoceros, in which case the correct scientific name for the former is Ceratotherium cottoni. Distinct morphological and genetic differences suggest the two proposed species have been separated for at least a million years.

In 2008, was the last official sighting of the Northern White Rhinoceros in the wild.

In February 2020, locals in South Sudan reported sightings of wild Northern White Rhinos might still be alive and group of people begin going on an bold expedition to see of they are any left.

Characteristics[]

The Northern White Rhinoceros has a straight back, flat skull, no grooves between the ribs, hairier ears and tails, and a shorter front horn. It can weight up to 1,400 to 1,600 kilograms. Northern White Rhinos have slightly shorter and squatter legs than their Southern White counterparts.

Taxonomy[]

Following the phylogenetic species concept, recent research has suggested the northern white rhinoceros may be an altogether different species, rather than a subspecies of white rhinoceros, in which case the correct scientific name for the former is Ceratotherium cottoni. Distinct morphological and genetic differences suggest the two proposed species have been separated for at least a million years. However, the results of the research were not universally accepted by other scientists.

Future[]

Since there are only two individuals left, the subspecies faces the inevitable risk of extinction within the near future.

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