One particular of the world’s final four remaining northern white rhinos has died in a zoo in the United States.
The condition of Nola, a 41-year-old female, had deteriorated soon after surgery and she was place down on Sunday.
Nola had been a common attraction at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1989.
The remaining three northern white rhinos – all elderly – are kept closely guarded at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
Nola underwent surgery on 13 November to drain a hip abscess. Nonetheless, her wellness deteriorated a week ago and worsened once more over the weekend and it was decided she must be put down.
The northern white rhino population was devastated by poachers searching for their prized horns, and was declared extinct in the wild in 2008.
San Diego zoo has recently brought in six southern white rhinos, hoping to use them as surrogate mothers for northern white rhino embryos.
There are about 20,000 southern white rhinos in the globe, but research are nonetheless taking spot to establish whether or not the subspecies are genetically similar enough for the surrogacy to function.
Zoo researchers say that, if successful, the programme could see a northern white rhino calf born inside ten to 15 years.
Nevertheless, Richard Vigne, who runs the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya where the remaining 3 rhinos live, told the BBC the chances of becoming capable to recover the species have been “quite remote”.
“This species has been on the brink of extinction for an awfully long period of time. Sad though it is, the demise of Lola really tends to make no material difference to the most likely future of the species,” he said.