Suni, the first northern white rhino to be born in captivity, died on Friday.
The 34-year-old was found dead by rangers at his home at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, 250km north of Nairobi, leaving just six northern white rhinos alive.
Only one of them is a male capable of natural mating.
“Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race,” the conservancy said in a statement.
The conservatory said it was unsure of how Suni died, but said he hadn’t been killed by poachers. Kenya Wildlife Service vets will conduct a post-mortem in the coming days.
Ol Pejeta has three of the remaining six northern white rhinos on its 90,000 acre private conservatory and is not giving up all hope of breeding more.
“We will continue to do what we can to work with the remaining three animals on Ol Pejeta in the hope that our efforts will one day result in the successful birth of a northern white rhino calf,” the conservancy said.
Of the three outside the conservancy, one lives in in the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic and the other two are at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in California.
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