Last Rhino Of Its Kind Has Own Bodyguards 24/7 To Keep Poachers Away

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There is only one male northern white rhino left in the world, prompting a wildlife reserve to go to extraordinary measures to keep him alive.

According to CNN, 42-year-old Sudan is protected by armed guards at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya for 24 hours a day.

The precious creature is also wearing a radio transmitter for worst-case scenarios.

Most of Sudan's horn has been cut off, but he remains in danger of poachers who believe the horn's ivory can cure disease.

The price of ivory has recently risen so high it's becoming a more profitable business than drugs, experts say.

This is why a team of 40 guards is equipped with night vision goggles, advanced GPS tracking technology and even hunting dogs to thwart any threats on Sudan.

One guard said,

With the rising demand for rhino horn and ivory, we face many poaching attempts and while we manage to counter a large number of these, we often risk our lives in the line of duty.

Ol Pejeta has additionally sent undercover rangers to nearby towns to report on any planned poaching efforts.

It costs the conservancy over $100,000 to employ the guards for six months, Daily Mail reports.

This money usually comes from tourism, but fears of disease have caused a serious decline in visitors.

Ol Pejeta has therefore set up a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed to maintain Sudan's protection.

Accompanying the elderly animal are two female northern white rhinos: Fatu, 15, and Najin, 25.

It was hoped that Sudan would impregnate one of them, but he has a low sperm count, according to CNN, and may be too old to engage in mating.

Sudan is otherwise healthy and expected to live for another decade or so.

To prevent extinction, Ol Pejeta is considering taking Sudan's sperm and artificially inseminating a southern white rhino, which is a different subspecies.

The offspring wouldn't technically be a northern white rhino, but this may be the best feasible outcome.

There are just five northern white rhinos left on Earth, with other two in San Diego and the Czech Republic.

Sudan became the only remaining male last October following the death of Suni at Ol Pejeta.

Citations: Only surviving male northern white rhino is put under armed guard 24 hours a day (Daily Mail), northern white rhinos under guard day and night (CNN)