Today, Sunday, December 20th, 2020, Google’s Doodle pays tribute to Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros, known as an affectionate “gentle giant who passed away on 19 March 2018.
In the 1970s, Sudan escaped extinction of his kind in the wild when he was moved to Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic and eventually to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
The Doodle commemorates specifically the anniversary of the day in 2009 when Sudan and three other northern white rhinos arrived at their new home at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Captured in Shambe, Sudan in 1975, Sudan is believed to be the last northern white rhino born in the wild.
At the time of his death, Sudan left only two females, his daughter, Najin, and granddaughter, Fatu, of the subspecies alive in the world.
At the end of 2017, Sudan suffered from an infection in his right hind leg. Although his condition improved in subsequent months, the infection returned, and, in March 2018, his state seriously deteriorated.
Sudan was euthanized on 19 March 2018 at the age of 45.
“Sudan will live to be remembered as the last male northern white rhino of his kind. Today as we celebrate him, may we strive to protect the environment and wildlife which is the foundation of all civilization,” says Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Africa.
Despite Sudan’s death, scientists are hoping to harness Vitro fertilization techniques to save the subspecies. But for now, Najin and Fatu are the world’s final two northern white rhinoceros.
Google began honouring people who have passed on, events, anniversaries, and holidays with doodles designed by one of its engineers in 1999.