Google Doodle pays tribute to the last male northern white rhino

Sudan lived alone in a 10-acre enclosure, with 24-hour guards.

By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

(CNN) -- Sunday's Google Doodle paid tribute to Sudan, believed to be the last northern white rhino born in the wild.

The illustration looked back on a day in 2009 -- when Sudan and three other white rhinos arrived at their new home at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya.

Before the rhinos were moved, the species had been declared extinct in the wild.

In 1976, Sudan was moved to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in what was then Czechoslovakia in hopes of saving the subspecies. He fathered two children and a grandchild, who were all part of the group moved to their natural habitat in Kenya.

Sudan died at the age of 45 in 2018 leaving just two of his kind, his daughters, left in the wild.

Scientists told CNN at the time of his death that some of Sudan's genetic material had been saved, and they hoped to use in-vitro fertilization to bring the subspecies back.

"At the very least, Sudan is an ambassador for so many other species that need our attention," National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale told CNN at the time.

"This can be an incredible wake-up call. Even if you live 10,000 miles away, you can make a difference with your awareness or tourism dollars.

"Not all is lost. Even if we don't save the northern white rhino, we can save the other threatened rhinos and a host of lesser-known species whose numbers are dwindling everywhere."

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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