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Sudan is the last of his species, a Northern White Rhinocerus male (subspecies of white rhino), and is now under 24 hour guard at Kenyan reserve of Ol Pojeta. This comes only a year after their close relative the Western Black Rhinoceros was declared extinct. Sudan has had his horn removed as a safety procaution but there is still no guarantee that he is safe from poachers.

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Rhino’s are continuously poached for their horn which in some cultures is believed (not proven) to have ornamental or traditional medical purposes. Rhinoceros horn is primarily made out of a material similar to keratin (the stuff that makes up hair and fingernails), which traditional Asian medicine have used to treat an array of health problems, from fever to cerebrovascular disease. At this point in time, fighting poachers is only a bandaid on a gaping wound that is the extinction of our beautiful wildlife. The most likely way to effectively reduce the poaching of Rhino’s horn is to educate consumers and reduce demand once and for all.

So how can you help protect this beautiful and quickly diminishing wildlife? Learn about and support conservation initiatives, don’t purchase products that source from poached goods such as rhino horn, ivory, or animal pelts and (if you need a good deed for the day) donations to conservation organisation such as WWF go a long way.

References:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/10/world/africa/rhino-extinct-species-report/

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/short-film-showcase/fighting-rhino-poaching-with-guns-drones-and-dogs?source=relatedvideo

http://journals.cambridge.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=4967504&fileId=S0030605300025862

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/white_rhinoceros/northern_white_rhinoceros/

http://theconversation.com/to-reduce-rhino-poaching-take-demand-for-horns-seriously-34265

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2490777/Western-Black-rhino-officially-extinct-Northern-White-Javan-rhinos-follow-unless-conservationists-warn.html