Earlier this week, an endangered Northern White Rhino (Northern Square lip rhino) dies at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The northern white rhino named Nola was one of only four northern white rhinos believed to be left in the world.
Nola, was a 41 year old female who had been at San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1989, when she got an abscess in her hip. On November 13th, Nola had surgery to drain the abscess in her hip, but her health began to deteriorate along with her appetite. The northern white rhino had begun to have arthritis and was being treated for an infection linked to the abscess in her hip.
The last three remaining northern white rhinos are closely guarded in a preserve in Kenya. These are the last three of this subspecies of white rhino because they have been decimated by poachers who have killed the species for their horn where they are in high demand in Asia for their supposed medicinal properties to cure illnesses like hangovers and cancer.
Earlier this month, to preserve another subspecies of white rhino, the San Diego Zoo took six female Southern White Rhinos from South Africa to help preserve them and save them from poachers. Researchers at the San Francisco Zoo are working to develop embryos of the Northern White Rhino to be implanted into the six female Southern White Rhinos and have them be surrogate mothers. Researchers say they hope this will happen within the next 10 to 15 years.