The northern white rhinoceros subspecies is incredibly rare; there were just five known to exist on the entire planet, although Monday evening, a female northern white rhinoceros has passed away in captivity at Czech Zoo in Dvur Kralove due to a ruptured cyst that was too large to treat, leaving just four known white rhinoceroses to exist on the planet.
Northern white rhinoceroses are called what they are because they have a white tinge to their bodies. They are the largest species of rhinoceros known to exist, averaging about 6 feet tall and weighing in at an extreme average of 5100 pounds.
The one that passed away was notably a female, which there are fortunately still three more of in existence. To date, there is only one last known male northern white rhinoceros in existence.
The late northern white rhinoceros was 31 years old, which is just a little over half of the expected average lifespan of this species. The zoo named the animal Nabire.
As you might expect, the zoo staff aren't taking it so well. The director of the Zoo the northern white rhinoceros died at, Premysl Rabas, has a hard time explaining the unfortunate event in words.
"Nabire's death has brought another animal species close to complete extinction," Rabas said in a comment. He also said the whole event is, "a loss hard to describe."
After her death, her ovary was reportedly removed so that scientists could make an attempt at in vitro fertilization (IVF). Scientists also ponder about attempting to mix the northern and southern species in an attempt to ‘cross breed' the two.
Of all the four northern white rhinoceroses that are known to remain on the planet, one of them is in captivity at San Diego Zoo, while three others are at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where they are cared for by professionals.