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One Of 7 Northern White Rhinos Left In The World Dies In Kenya

Suni back in 2009, when the rhino arrived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. i

Suni back in 2009, when the rhino arrived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Riccardo Gangale/AP hide caption

toggle caption Riccardo Gangale/AP
Suni back in 2009, when the rhino arrived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Suni back in 2009, when the rhino arrived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Riccardo Gangale/AP

Northern white rhinos are one step closer to extinction, after one of only two breeding males known to exist was found dead at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

In a statement, the conservancy said Suni, 34, had not been poached, but they had not yet determined why the rhino died. It continued:

"The Kenya Wildlife Service vets will conduct a post mortem as soon as possible. In 2006, his father Saút died in the Dvur Kralove Zoo by natural causes at the same age as Suni was now.

"There are now only six northern white rhinos left in the world. Suni was one of the last two breeding males in the world and no northern white rhinos are known to have survived in the wild. Consequently the species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race."

The Guardian adds:

"Suni was born at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in Czech Republic in 1980. He was one of the four northern white rhinos brought from that zoo to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in 2009 to take part in a breeding programme.

"Wildlife experts had hoped the 90,000-acre private wildlife conservancy, framed on the equator and nestled between the snow capped Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountain range, would offer a more favourable climate for breeding."

Correction: Oct. 19, 2014

The original headline on this post said that one of seven white rhinos left in the world had died. In fact, there were only seven northern white rhinos left. There are a bit more than 20,000 southern white rhinos in the wild.

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