four man antipoaching team permanently guards a male northern white picture

Extinction Watch: World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies

The last male northern white rhinoceros in the world died on Monday after a battle with infection. The death of Sudan, named after his birth country, leaves the world with just two living northern white rhinoceroses, and leaves the species one step closer to extinction. (Pictured: Sudan in 2011)

Sudan was living in captivity for 35 of his 45 years. He survived an infection on his leg in 2017, but a more serious infection was recently identified. His condition had worsened to where he could no longer stand up, and on Monday, conservationists at <a href="https://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/the-last-male-northern-white-rhino-dies/"target="_blank">Ol Pejeta Conservatory</a>, where he had been living since 2009, made the decision to put him down. TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images Sudan was living in captivity for 35 of his 45 years. He survived an infection on his leg in 2017, but a more serious infection was recently identified. His condition had worsened to where he could no longer stand up, and on Monday, conservationists at Ol Pejeta Conservatory, where he had been living since 2009, made the decision to put him down. Sudan and his plight gained fame in 2017 when <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/worlds-last-white-rhino-male-sudan-joins-tinder-to-save-species/" target="_blank">the Conservancy partnered with the dating app Tinder</a> to raise awareness and funds, calling Sudan &quot;The Most Eligible Bachelor.&quot; &quot;6 ft tall and 5,000 lbs if it matters,&quot; his profile read. While the effort raised much-needed funds to pay for Sudan&#39;s care, including 24/7 armed security, it did not help him find a mate. The Washington Post/Getty Images Sudan and his plight gained fame in 2017 when the Conservancy partnered with the dating app Tinder to raise awareness and funds, calling Sudan "The Most Eligible Bachelor." "6 ft tall and 5,000 lbs if it matters," his profile read. While the effort raised much-needed funds to pay for Sudan's care, including 24/7 armed security, it did not help him find a mate. Although Sudan lived with the only two remaining female northern white rhinos in the world, Najin and Fatu (pictured here in 2010), scientists declared both unable to breed naturally. Conservators had been looking into alternative reproduction methods, including in vitro fertilization. Some of Sudan and the other deceased male rhinos&#39; sperm was collected before their passing in the hopes of finding a solution in the future. Barcroft Media via Getty Images Although Sudan lived with the only two remaining female northern white rhinos in the world, Najin and Fatu (pictured here in 2010), scientists declared both unable to breed naturally. Conservators had been looking into alternative reproduction methods, including in vitro fertilization. Some of Sudan and the other deceased male rhinos' sperm was collected before their passing in the hopes of finding a solution in the future. &quot;This is a distinct lineage of white rhino,&quot; Barbara Durrant, the director of reproductive sciences at San Diego Zoo Global, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-kenya-northern-white-rhino-20180301-story.html" target="_blank">told the Los Angeles Times</a>. &quot;The loss of a population, especially of a mega vertebrae like a rhino … is a significant loss in terms of genetic diversity.&quot; (Pictured: Sudan and Najin stroll in Kenya&#39;s Ol Pejeta Conservancy in 2010) Barcroft Media via Getty Images "This is a distinct lineage of white rhino," Barbara Durrant, the director of reproductive sciences at San Diego Zoo Global, told the Los Angeles Times. "The loss of a population, especially of a mega vertebrae like a rhino … is a significant loss in terms of genetic diversity." (Pictured: Sudan and Najin stroll in Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy in 2010) The northern white rhino is far from alone in its vulnerability. Every species of rhino is now threatened, and poaching poses the greatest threat by far: In east Asia, rhino horns are believed to cure illnesses, making the poaching trade extremely lucrative. In these photos, the horns were cut by conservators; removing the horns prevents injuries as the rhinos are re-introduced to each other. (Pictured: Armed guards offer the rhinos protection from poachers at Ol Pejeta, in 2011.) Brent Stirton/Getty Images Reportage The northern white rhino is far from alone in its vulnerability. Every species of rhino is now threatened, and poaching poses the greatest threat by far: In east Asia, rhino horns are believed to cure illnesses, making the poaching trade extremely lucrative. In these photos, the horns were cut by conservators; removing the horns prevents injuries as the rhinos are re-introduced to each other. (Pictured: Armed guards offer the rhinos protection from poachers at Ol Pejeta, in 2011.) In 1960, there were 2,000 northern white rhinos. Now, there are two. And while guards armed with automatic weapons can protect these particular rhinos from poachers, they can&#39;t protect them against aging. The Washington Post/Getty Images In 1960, there were 2,000 northern white rhinos. Now, there are two. And while guards armed with automatic weapons can protect these particular rhinos from poachers, they can't protect them against aging.