5-speed listening (White Rhino - Level 5)

World's last male northern white rhino dies






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Conservationists and animal lovers are mourning the loss of Sudan the rhinoceros. Sudan was the world's last male northern white rhino. Sudan, 45, was put down at a zoo in Kenya after "age-related complications". He had been in poor health due to his old age. Officials say his condition "worsened significantly" and he was not strong enough to stand. His muscles had deteriorated and his skin had "extensive wounds". The zoo's director said: "Sudan's death was a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature and it saddened everyone who knew him."

Hunters have hunted the northern white rhino to near-extinction. There were more than 2,000 in the wild in the 1960s but their numbers continually fell because of the value of their horns. The only northern white rhinos alive today are Sudan's daughter and granddaughter. They live in captivity so they will be protected. There are hopes they can produce young to keep their species going. In vitro fertilization techniques using semen from other dead rhinos could be used with Sudan's offspring. The zoo wants to raise $9 million to fund the conservation project.

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