People, Environment

Northern White Rhino Population Down to 3

Northern White Rhino Population Down to 3
Northern White Rhino Population Down to 3

The world’s northern white rhinoceros population plunged by a quarter on Sunday with a death at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The 41-year-old female rhino named Nola had undergone surgical procedures on November 13 aimed at draining an abscess in her hip.

However, her health began deteriorating a week ago and steadily declined over the weekend, leading to the decision to euthanize one of the last of the nearly extinct species, AFP reported.

“Nola was an iconic animal, not only at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but worldwide,” the zoo said in a statement.

“Through the year, millions of people learned about Nola and the plight of rhinos in the wild through visits to the Safari Park, numerous media stories and social media posts,” the zoo statement added.

Zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons also noted that the park was determining whether Southern White Rhinos were genetically similar to Northern White Rhinos.

The zoo’s hopes are that they could use the Southern Whites as maternal surrogates for implanted embryos developed from Northern Whites’ DNA, Simmons added.

The remaining three Northern White Rhinos are located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

The northern white rhino is a subspecies of the white rhino. The northern subspecies is believed to be extinct in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund, while the “near threatened” southern white rhino population is growing in sanctuaries, according to CNN.

Rhinos are the second largest land mammal after the elephant.