In 2009 there were eight Northern White Rhinoceros existing in the world. Leading up to this time the species had suffered greatly from human actions, i.e. poaching, as well as environmental changes. “The northern white rhinoceros is a ‘victim of evolution,’ Lewis added—it was a remnant population cut off from the southern white rhinoceros by the Great Rift Valley and the dense forests of Central Africa” (Dell’Amore).
Since this point the population has continued to decrease. Most recently a 34 year old male rhino died at the Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Suni, as the rhino was called, is known to have not been killer by poachers as he had been monitored around the clock. However, his death is alarming as the species typically lives to be 40 or 50 years old. Moreover, Suni was one of two males left among the species.
Currently, there are only one male and five female Northern White Rhinoceros in existence. Should the species go extinct there will be serious implications on the ecosystems where they had lived. “It’s not just another charismatic animal—it’s also a species that has a very clear ecological role, and we need to be very worried that we have lost that” (Grimm). Additionally, the Rhinos play an important role in keeping the grasslands in order. The animals eat a large amount of savanna plants that other species do not indulge in.