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Last male northern white rhino joins Tinder for fundraiser to save species

By Daniel Uria
Last male northern white rhino joins Tinder for fundraiser to save species
Sudan, a 43-year-old male northern white rhino, has been named Tinder's "Most Eligible Bachelor" in an attempt to raise funds to save his species. Photo courtesy of Ol Pejeta Conservancy

April 26 (UPI) -- The last surviving male northern white rhino has joined the dating app Tinder in an effort to save his species.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tinder teamed up for "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World" campaign allowing users to match with the 43-year-old male rhino, Sudan, to help their breeding efforts.

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"Sudan is not only The Most Eligible Bachelor, but he also boasts a pretty impressive profile," the conservancy said. "Not only is he a pretty fine specimen of a rhino, but he has his own personal team of armed bodyguards, and has appeared in a string of international documentaries and news stories."

Despite his bachelor status, efforts to breed Sudan with the two other female northern white rhinos have failed.

"Sudan lives his bachelor life at Ol Pejeta Conservancy with his two female northern white rhino counterparts, Najin and Fatu," the conservancy said. "They have been unable to breed naturally due to a range of issues including old age. However, there are 17,000 other potential female southern white rhino suitors."

Sudan's profile will be seen on Tinder in 190 countries and more than 40 languages and users who match with him will be presented the option to donate toward Ol Pejeta Conservancy's $9 million goal to create in vitro fertilization methods for rhinos.

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"It's never ever has been done in rhinos before," Head of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Richard Vigne, told the BBC. "This is a 10-year program to recover that species. We'll hopefully keep him alive as long as we can -- but we are in a race against time if we are going to recover this species."

Northern white rhinos face extinction due to mass hunting by poachers who target the animals for their horns.

Scientists and the conservancy are also open to using Sudan's sperm to breed with southern white rhinos to prevent total extinction of the species.

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