File photo: The last surviving male northern white rhino named "Sudan" is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017. (Photo/Agencies)
The world's only remaining male northern white rhino died on Monday aged 45 at Ol Pajeta Conservancy in northern Kenya's Laikipia County, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
Elodie Sampere, the communications manager at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, said the giant land mammal, fondly referred to as Sudan, has been suffering from age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds.
"His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours. He was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvur Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him," the conservancy said in a statement.
Sudan's death leaves just two female northern white rhinos on the planet, his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remain at Ol Pejeta.
According to the conservancy, the only hope for the preservation of this subspecies now lies in development with vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques, using eggs from the two remaining females, stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.