There's a new bachelor on the prowl on Tinder, and he's literally horny. Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros in the world, has a profile on the dating app as of Tuesday, thanks to Tinder's partnership with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the 90,000-acre reserve in Kenya's Laikipia region where Sudan is protected under armed guard, along with the last female northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu.
Najin, born in 1989, is Sudan's daughter, and Fatu is his daughter with Najin, making her both Sudan's daughter and granddaughter. This shallow gene pool, combined with the females' infertility with older age and 44-year-old Sudan's low sperm count, has prompted conservationists to cast a wider dating net so he can save his critically endangered subspecies from total erasure.
Over the past 40 years, northern white rhinos have been poached to extinction in the wild. Their horns are considered extremely valuable in Asian medicinal markets, and the demand has reduced the known world population to Sudan and his daughters. Captured at three years old, Sudan is the last northern white rhino born in the wild.
Fortunately, however, southern white rhinos—the most abundant rhino subspecies on Earth—can interbreed with their northern brethren (northern and southern white rhinos are the two subspecies of the white rhino species, in case you want to get phylogenetic about it). There are around 20,000 southern white rhinos left in the wild, and around 17,000 females that could potentially carry Sudan's species-saving calf.
As amazing as it would be to have Sudan swipe through all these eligible bachelorettes, Tinder and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy have another goal in mind for "The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World," as the campaign calls Sudan.
The rhino's profile is designed to raise awareness and generate donations that can support research into assisted reproductive technologies, like in-vitro fertilization (IVF), that could leverage Sudan's ailing sperm into a bunch of adorable infant rhinos, with mothers that may never even meet their baby daddy. The goal is to raise nine million dollars for this cause.
Scientists have never artificially inseminated rhinos before. "This represents the last option to save the species after all previous breeding attempts proved futile," said Richard Vigne, CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in a statement. "Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild which is where their true value will be realized."
Sudan's Tinder profile, linked to a donation prompt, is available in 190 countries and over 40 languages as of April 25. "I don't mean to be too forward," his bio reads, "but the fate of my species literally depends on me."
It's a solid pickup line, and when followed up by "I like to eat grass and chill in the mud" and "5,000 lbs if it matters," Sudan seems downright charming. It was definitely a smart move not to lead with the whole "I had a daughter with my daughter" angle.
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