The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a 90,000 acre conservation area in Kenya's Laikipia County, has partnered with Tinder, the leading social app for meeting new people, to launch a new campaign to raise awareness about Sudan, the only remaining male northern white rhino on the planet, whom they have dubbed as ‘The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World’.
The goal of this campaign is to raise the $9 million needed to protect the northern white rhino from extinction. When Tinder users ‘swipe right’ on Sudan’s profile, they will be directed to a page from which they can donate towards this cause.
The funds raised will go towards ongoing research into Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) by a consortium of institutions. Once perfected, this technology, in particular in vitro fertilization (IVF), will aid to achieve successful pregnancies to gradually build up a viable herd of northern white rhinos.
The world's most eligible bachelor | Ol Pejeta Conservancy
If successful, this will be the first time for scientists to carry out artificial reproduction in rhinos.
"Sudan is not only The Most Eligible Bachelor, but he also boasts a pretty impressive profile", the statement from the conservancy continues. "Not only is he a pretty fine specimen of a rhino, but he has his own personal team of armed bodyguards, and has appeared in a string of international documentaries and news stories."
Sudan lives at Ol Pejeta Conservancy with his two female northern white rhino counterparts, Najin and Fatu. They have been unable to breed naturally due to a range of issues including old age. However, there are 17,000 other potential female southern white rhino suitors.
“The plight that currently faces the northern white rhinos is a signal to the impact that humankind is having on many thousands of other species across the planet. Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild which is where their true value will be realized", Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO Richard Vigne said further.
Sudan got on Tinder beginning April 25th.
“We partnered with Ol Pejeta conservancy to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match,” said Matt David, Head of Communications and Marketing at Tinder. “We are optimistic given Sudan's profile will be seen on Tinder in 190 countries and over 40 languages."
“We are in a race. A race against the extinction of the northern white rhino species. We urgently need to raise awareness and funds for Sudan. No one could run this campaign better with us than Tinder. It will offer ‘the most eligible bachelor’ global exposure in such a meaningful way. We are honored and very proud to be part of this campaign that will have a positive impact on our environment,” said Mathieu Plassard, Regional Managing Director at Ogilvy Africa.
“[Assisted Reproduction] represents the last option to save the species after all previous breeding attempts proved futile", Vigne said.
The research, which is currently ongoing in the United States, Germany and Japan aims to establish a herd of 10 northern white rhinos after five years using in-vitro fertilization.
“Financial support remains the biggest challenge to this project. At 43 years, Sudan does not have much longer to live. To win this run against time it is very crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible", said Steven Seet, Head of Press and Communications at the Leibniz-IZW who are part of the research consortium.
Cover Image: A rhino handler stands with Sudan, the world’s last remaining male northern white rhino, at Ol Pejeta Conservancy | Make It Kenya / Stuart Price