There Are Now Only 4 Of These Rhinos Left On Earth
One of the last members of the world's rarest rhino species has died, inching her kind ever closer toward being lost forever.
Nabiré, a 31-year-old female northern white rhino in captivity at the Dvůr Králové Zoo, in the Czech Republic, died from health complications, zoo officials announced on Monday. Her death leaves only four northern white rhinos left on the planet, reports the zoo.
"It is a terrible loss," zoo director Přemysl Rabas said in a statement. "Nabiré was the kindest rhino ever bred in our zoo. It is not just that we were very fond of her. Her death is a symbol of the catastrophic decline of rhinos due to a senseless human greed. Her species is on the very brink of extinction."
It wasn't long ago that northern white rhinos were found throughout present day Chad, Uganda, the Congo and South Sudan, before human activity precipitated their rapid decline. From a population of more than 2,000 in the early 1960s, the species was reduced to only 15 individuals by 1984 - a catastrophic collapse caused by rampant poaching for their prized horns.
Since then, efforts to preserve the species by captive breeding and artificial insemination have been unsuccessful at stemming the rhino's looming extinction.
The remaining four northern white rhinos consist of an elderly female, kept alone at the San Diego Zoo in California, and two females and a male kept together on a reserve in Kenya. Despite being under close guard to keep him safe from outside threats, the last of the rhino's paternal line has yet to reproduce.
To learn how you can help the world's few remaining northern white rhinos, support those dedicated to protecting them.