There Are Only Three Northern White Rhinos Left, Where Do We Go From Here?

Condolences to the San Diego Zoo, animal conservationists, sub-Saharan Africa, and the planet Earth as a whole. Nola, an iconic northern white rhino, and one of only four remaining members of her subspecies, passed away on the 22nd following a battle with a bacterial infection. Over 40-years-old, Nola was being treated for a hip abscess as well as several age-related issues, when her condition took a sudden turn for the worse.

The zoo released a statement on its Facebook page, describing the impact of Nola’s life and death.

This is a very difficult loss for the animal care staff who worked with her, our volunteers, guests, and to her species worldwide…Nola’s legacy will live forever as her death leaves just 3 northern white rhinos on the planet.

So where does this leave the fight for Nola’s subspecies? The three remaining northern white rhinos — Najin, Fatu, and Sudan — live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, watched over closely by bodyguards 24/7, as the major threat to the species remains poaching for their horn.

Of these three, only one is male, and all are, like Nola was, geriatric.

But the San Diego Zoo and other warriors for conservation are not giving up. The zoo hopes to use artificial insemination and surrogate southern white rhinos mothers to preserve the subspecies. Eager to join the fight to save the most endangered subspecies in the world? Click here to learn how you can make a difference.